“The Geometry of Hope” brings together two threads that epitomize postwar abstract art from Latin America: on the one hand, geometry, precision, clarity and reason; on the other, a utopian sense of hope.
Lesson / Koan : Promote the positive.
Colorful and playful kinetic sculptures, experimental objects designed to be catalysts for community building, manifestos calling for joy and the negation of melancholy: these are the elements that have shaped The Geometry of Hope.
The title of the show is an inversion of a famous phrase of the British critic Herbert Read, “the geometry of fear.” Read applied the phrase to postwar British artists such as Barbara Hepworth and to the nervous, dangerous times in which she worked. By contrast, this show argues, Hepworth’s South American contemporaries were animated by the same geometric, as opposed to organic, impulses in their abstractions, but they felt a utopian hopefulness that World War II had dashed forever among the artists of Europe.
“The Geometry of Hope” is a tale of five cities: Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, and Caracas. Paris is also included among them because it was, up until WWII, the lodestar of artistic culture, the Mecca to which many South Americans trekked to receive their longed-for initiation into the rites of high culture.
lodestar |ˈlōdˌstär|noun – a star that is used to guide the course of a ship, esp. Polaris.