November 21, 2010 - Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) - Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art
November 21, 2010

Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art

res, “Chica azul (Blue Lady),” from the “Conatus” series in collaboration with Constanza Piaggio, 2006.
Chromogenic print, collection of Gail and Louis Adler.*

Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art
Through February 6, 2011

1001 Bissonnet at Main
Houston, Texas 77005

Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art Celebrates the Ten-Year Anniversary of the Latin American Art Department at the MFAH; Pays Tribute to the Collectors Supporting the Initiative

Nearly 100 loaned works on view, first time on public display

Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the Latin American art department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the vital collection of art it has amassed in a short timeframe. Supported by a collecting community made up of the Founding Members and Latin Maecenas, the MFAH patron group dedicated to supporting and promoting Latin American and Latino art—the first and only patron group of its kind in the United States—the MFAH has acquired more than 400 modern and contemporary Latin American artworks and has become a leader in the field. Inspired by the department’s mission to build a high-quality collection, organize groundbreaking exhibitions, uncover new research and educate diverse audiences about Latin American and Latino art, supporters have accompanied the MFAH’s collecting activities since the department’s inception by both acquiring works for the museum and building their own collections. Cosmopolitan Routes encompasses over 100 works of art all culled from the private collections of MFAH supporters, the majority of which are based in Houston, but a number live at least part-time elsewhere around the world.

On view through February 6, 2011, the exhibition is guest curated by Gilbert Vicario, curator at the Des Moines Art Center (and formerly assistant Latin American art curator at MFAH), with support from Mari Carmen Ramírez, MFAH Wortham curator of Latin American art and director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), and Elizabeth Cerejido, MFAH assistant curator of Latin American and Latino art. A catalogue co-published by the MFAH and Yale University Press, and distributed by Yale University Press, will accompany the exhibition, available in February 2011.

“The creation of the museum’s Latin American art department would not have been possible without the pioneering vision of the patrons who make up the Latin Maecenas,” said MFAH director Dr. Peter C. Marzio. “These generous individuals took the lead in supporting this under-recognized field, both at the museum and in their own collecting initiatives, and this exhibition will be a great opportunity to see their outstanding, privately held works on public view.”

Diverse artistic expressions represented in the exhibition include the School of the South, Brazil’s Concrete and Neo-Concrete avant-garde movements from the 1940s through the ’60s, figurative and surrealist works, video, photography and contemporary installations. Work by artists first introduced to many in the 2004 MFAH exhibition Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America will be significantly represented—from Joaquín Torres-Garcia and Xul Solar to Julio Alpuy, Luis Benedit, Lygia Clark, Pedro Figari, Gonzalo Fonseca, Gego, Francisco Matto, Luis Felipe Noé, Mira Schendel, Jesús Soto, and Jorge de la Vega. Works by contemporary Latin American and Latino artists using unexpected materials and new media will also be on view, including Magdalena Fernández, Luis Jiménez, Gabriel de la Mora, Oscar Muñoz, Rivane Neuenschwander, and Dario Robleto. Many of these pieces have never been on view outside of the collectors’ homes and will be presented publicly for the first time.

Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art is one of several exhibitions and events included in the MFAH’s 2010-11 program celebrating the 10th anniversary of the creation of the MFAH’s Latin American Art Department and Collection and the establishment of its companion research institute, the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA). Associated events will continue through 2011, including the Latin American Experience Gala and Auction Weekend (February 3-6), the exhibition Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time (February 6 – July 4, 2011), and the launch of the ICAA digital archive and anthology series in Fall 2011. For more information on the Latin American Experience Gala and Auction Weekend, please contact MFAH Development Special Events at 713.639.7523 or

Click here for more information and to view a complete list of the artists and collectors in Cosmopolitan Routes.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Generous funding is provided by Continental Airlines.

Additional funding is provided by Mr. and Mrs. Louis K. Adler, Puffer-Sweiven/Emerson Process Management, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Macy’s, and Mr. Samuel F. Gorman.

*Image above:
© res.

Cosmopolitan Routes: Houston Collects Latin American Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)
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