Constructing Constructivism

Since its beginnings in 2005, the driving force behind the Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection (JCMAC), has been a recognition of the contribution that Geometric Abstraction has made to art history in the twentieth century. In 2016 JCMAC began an exciting new chapter, opening an exhibition space in Miami’s Design District in order to bring about meaningful dialogs with regard to the artists in the collection at an international level. The collection has historically focused on Latin American Geometric Abstraction (1940 – 1970), a well-known sub-sector of the broader Geometric Abstraction style prevalent during the postwar period.

With avidity, JCMAC has recently expanded to include artists from Europe and North America. This new intention has allowed us to better contextualize the work of Latin American artists and provide a deeper analysis of the importance of Geometric Abstraction in a globalized world. We celebrate this new phase by presenting Constructing Constructivism, an exhibition that brings together key works from the collection to explore how in the postwar era, a number of artists around the globe shared an interest in discovering what was at stake in the early days of abstraction. Their artworks looked backwards to the unrealized potentialities of Constructivist Art, but pushed further and in a great many directions.

Constructivism is an umbrella term used to describe various movements and concerns of abstract (non- figurative) artists. The style emphasizes the ‘construction’ or structure of the artwork, often reducing images to basic geometric shapes, at planes and bold use of contrasting colors. There are several other interests present in the artworks: kinetic or moving elements, disruptions to ‘traditional’ formats such as changing the very shape of the frame, optical illusions using geometry and works that look different with changes in light and from where they are viewed.

The exhibition is organized into five sections: Order, Literal Image, Shape and Structure, Impossible Spaces and Rational Encounters. Each section includes artists whose works show similar concerns and strategies, exemplifying the global exchange of visual culture. Constructing Constructivism, is intended to shed light on artworks and artists frequently overlooked by the framers of the art historical canon, and in doing so, it offers a broader, more comprehensive vision of Geometric Abstraction as a global movement.

Curator

Carlota Perez-Appelbaum

Artists

ABEND Harry, BARSOTTI Hercules, BOLOTOWSKY Ilya, CAIROLI Carlos, CALDER Alexander, CLARK Lygia, CRUZ-DIEZ Carlos, DAVIS Gene, DE CASTRO Willys, DEBOURG Narciso, DILLER Burgoyne, FERRARI Leon, GEGO, GRAHAM Dan, KUWAYAMA Tadaaki, LLORENS Antonio, NARVAEZ Francisco, NEDO, NEGRET Edgar, NOLAND Kenneth, PAPE Lygia, PARDO Mercedes, PUENTE Alejandro, RAMIREZ VILLAMIZAR Eduardo, ROITMAN Volf, ROJAS Carlos, SALAZAR Francisco, SCHFFER Nicolas, SMITH Leon Polk, SOTO Jesus Rafael, STEIN Jol, WILLIAMS Neil and ZOX Larry.

Photo: Untitled, 1940 (detail), Burgoyne Diller; Correspondence Black Yellow, 1963 (detail), Leon Polk Smith; Vibrations, 1960 (detail) Jess Soto.

Press Release