Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris Between the Wars

Yale Univ. Mar. 2018. 296p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780300228427. $60. FINE ARTS
Around 300 Latin American artists lived and worked in Paris between 1919 and 1938. As outsiders entering an established cultural hierarchy, they brought new traditions and ways of seeing to the artistic Parisian melting pot. They pushed back against the expectations of primitivism, exoticism, and naïveté from European critics and viewers by creating intelligent, symbolic, and traditional-looking art. Greet (art history, George Mason Univ.) expertly highlights European influence on the works of these artists, such as Antonio Berni's Eiffel Tower in the Pampa (1930), with its semibelievable female portrait reminiscent of de Chirico's mannequins and disconcerting perspective with the Eiffel Tower in place of de Chirico's red tower.
VERDICT A basic understanding of the artistic movements of the period is helpful but not required to enjoy this thoroughly illustrated and researched tome illuminating the formerly forgotten Latin American artists of 1920s and 1930s Paris.

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