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Exhibitions

Drawn primarily from the Blanton’s extensive collection of Latin American art, Words/Matter offers an innovative perspective on how artists of this region have explored the links between visual art and written language since the early decades of the twentieth century.

Words/Matter explores key moments in the artistic fascination with the written word, ranging from Xul Solar and Joaquín Torres-García’s creation of alphabets and metaphysical signs, to the visual experiments of Brazilian concrete poets in the 1960s, and the political codification of language by conceptualists since the 1970s. By both using words as if they were images and presenting images as written signs, contemporary artists have found key tools for communicating messages of a personal, poetic, or political nature.

Celebrating the subversive aesthetics of artists’ books, painted poems, political posters, and large-scale conceptual installations,Words/Matter features artists working in a broad range of media, including Paulo Bruscky, Augusto de Campos & Julio Plaza, Antonio Caro, Nury González, Leandro Katz, Jac Leirner, José Clemente Orozco, Mira Schendel, and Edgardo Antonio Vigo.

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Presentando principalmente obras de la extensa colección de arte latinoamericano del Blanton, Las palabras importan ofrece una perspectiva innovadora sobre cómo los artistas de esta región han explorado los vínculos entre el arte visual y el lenguaje escrito desde las primeras décadas del siglo XX.

Las palabras importan explora momentos destacados de la fascinación de los artistas por la palabra escrita, desde la creación de alfabetos y signos metafísicos de Xul Solar y Joaquín Torres-García, hasta los experimentos visuales de poetas concretos brasileños en la década de 1960 y la codificación política del lenguaje hecha por los conceptualistas desde los años setenta. Ya sea que utilicen las palabras como imágenes o presenten imágenes como signos escritos, los artistas contemporáneos han encontrado nuevas formas trascendentes para comunicar mensajes de naturaleza personal, poética o política.

Esta exposición celebra la estética subversiva de los libros de artistas, los poemas pintados, los carteles políticos y las instalaciones conceptuales a gran escala. Las palabras importan presenta artistas que trabajan en una amplia gama de medios, incluidos Paulo Bruscky, Augusto de Campos, Julio Plaza, Antonio Caro, Nury González, Leandro Katz, Jac Leirner, José Clemente Orozco, Mira Schendel y Edgardo Antonio Vigo.

 

This exhibition will be on view in our Butler Gallery, located on the ground floor of the museum.

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Curated by Beverly Adams, Curator of Latin American Art, Blanton Museum of Art, and Florencia Bazzano, Assistant Curator of Latin American Art, Blanton Museum of Art

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Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art.

Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by The Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, Jeanne and Michael Klein, and the Scurlock Foundation Exhibition Endowment, with additional support from Cecily E. Horton, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, Sarah and Ernest Butler, and the Inman Foundation in honor of Nancy Inman.

Fernando Maza
Untitled, 1968 (detail)
oil on canvas
45 7/8 in. x 60 13/16 in.
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Gift of Barbara Duncan, 1974

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