Curated Conversations

2020tue28apr5:00 pmCurated ConversationsSubverted, Sealed, Delivered: Mail Art in Latin America

Event Details

Before Twitter, before Facebook, before email, there was…“snail mail.”  The 20th century postal service was vital to communication and connection, especially for artists censored by their governments. Learn how Mail Art – also called “Postal” or “Correspondence” Art — enabled Latin American artists to connect with like-minded artists worldwide when repressive military regimes enforced their own form of social distancing. Blanton Curators Vanessa Davidson and Florencia Bazzano will discuss Mail Art as a ready-made medium for artistic survival in Latin America from the 1960s through the ’70s, and for radical experimentation continuing into the ’80s and ’90s.

For a quick intro into mail art, read this chapter from our Art Primer The Art of Communication. 

Our curators took time to respond to your unanswered questions from the event and you can read them all HERE.

Cocktail Suggestion for the Week

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About our Speakers

Headshot of Vanessa Davidson, Curator of Latin American Art at the Blanton Museum of Art

Vanessa Davidson received a B.A. in Hispano-American Literature from Harvard University, and studied Latin American art and Argentine poetry at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as Portuguese at the Universidade de São Paulo. She has worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to conduct dissertation research in Argentina and Brazil in 2009, and received her Ph.D. in 20th Century Latin American Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 2011. She worked at Phoenix Art Museum as Shawn and Joe Lampe Curator of Latin American Art for eight years, during which time she organized twelve major exhibitions, two of which traveled internationally. She assumed her role as Curator of Latin American Art at the Blanton Museum of Art in October 2019.

Headshot of Florencia Bazzano, Assistant Curator of Latin American Art, Blanton Museum of Art

Florencia Bazzano, Assistant Curator for Latin American Art, joined the Blanton Museum of Art in 2015. Her recent projects include co-curating Arte Sin Fronteras: Prints from the Self Help Graphics Studio (2019) and Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language (2018). She also assisted in reinstalling the Latin American permanent collection as part of You Belong Here: Reimagining the Blanton (2017). Before joining the Blanton, Bazzano worked for the Cantor Arts Museum at Stanford University, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. She also taught art history for many years and has an extensive list of publications, including the book Liliana Porter: The Art of Simulation (Routledge, 2008). Bazzano is an alumna of The University of Texas at Austin, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Latin American Art from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.


Image Caption: Paulo Bruscky (Recife, Brazil, 1949 – ), Arte Correio. Hoje, a arte é este comunicado [Mail Art. Today, Art is this Communiqué], 1985, Postcard. Printed matter and stamp, 10.5 x 15 cm (4 1/8 x 5 7/8 in.), Gift of Jacqueline Barnitz, 2017


April 28, 2020 5:00 pm(GMT+00:00)

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