MOMA Exhibition | Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980

Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980

March 29–July 19, 2015

 Brasilia under construction, 1957. Geofoto. Arquivo Publico do Distrito Federal  (MOMA)
Brasilia under construction, 1957. Geofoto. Arquivo Publico do Distrito Federal (MOMA)

In 1955 The Museum of Modern Art staged Latin American Architecture since 1945, a landmark survey of modern architecture in Latin America. On the 60th anniversary of that important show, the Museum returns to the region to offer a complex overview of the positions, debates, and architectural creativity from Mexico and Cuba to the Southern Cone between 1955 and the early 1980s.

This period of self-questioning, exploration, and complex political shifts also saw the emergence of the notion of Latin America as a landscape of development, one in which all aspects of cultural life were colored in one way or another by this new attitude to what emerged as the “Third World.” The 1955 exhibition featured the result of a single photographic campaign, but Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980 brings together a wealth of original materials that have never before been brought together and, for the most part, are rarely exhibited even in their home countries.

The exhibition features architectural drawings, architectural models, vintage photographs, and film clips alongside newly commissioned models and photographs. While the exhibition focuses on the period of 1955 to 1980 in most of the countries of Latin America, it is introduced by an ample prelude on the preceding three decades of architectural developments in the region, presentations of the development of several key university campuses in cities like Mexico City and Caracas, and a look at the development of the new Brazilian capital at Brasilia. Architects met these challenges with formal, urbanistic, and programmatic innovation, much of it relevant still to the challenges of our own period, in which Latin America is again providing exciting and challenging architecture and urban responses to the ongoing issues of modernization and development, though in vastly different economic and political contexts than those considered in this major historical reevaluation.

The exhibition is accompanied by two major publications: a catalogue and an anthology of primary texts translated from Spanish and Portuguese. Download the bibliography


Organized by Barry Bergdoll, Curator, and Patricio del Real, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Jorge Francisco Liernur, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Carlos Eduardo Comas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; with the assistance of an advisory committee from across Latin America.

A major contribution for the exhibition is provided by Emilio Ambasz.

Major support is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Additional funding is provided by The Reed Foundation, the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, the Government of Chile, the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, Bárbara Garza Lagüera, the Consulate General of the Argentine Republic in New York, Yvonne Dadoo Lewis, and the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.

MOMA Exhibition Website


 

Related Publications:

 Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980
by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
963_A2_Latin_America_in_Construction
Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980
Edited by Barry Bergdoll, Carlos Eduardo Comas, Jorge Francisco Liernur, Patricio del Real.”In 1955 The Museum of Modern Art staged Latin American Architecture since 1945, a landmark survey of modern architecture in Latin America. Published in conjunction with a new exhibition that revisits the region on the 60th anniversary of that important show, Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980 offers a complex overview of the positions, debates and architectural creativity from Mexico and Cuba to the Southern Cone between 1955 and the early 1980s.
963_B2_Latin_America_in_ConstructionThe publication features a wealth of original materials that have never before been brought together to illustrate a period of self-questioning, exploration and complex political shifts that saw the emergence of the notion of Latin America as a landscape of development. Richly illustrated with architectural drawings, vintage photographs, sketches and newly commissioned photographs, the catalogue presents the work of architects who met the challenges of modernization with innovative formal, urbanistic and programmatic solutions. Today, when Latin America is again providing exciting and challenging architecture and urban responses, Latin America in Construction brings this vital postwar period to light.”

 

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