Spring 2021

Latin American Art: Strategies and Tactics

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-255


Niko Vicario (Section 01)


This course explores art produced since 1920 in Latin America. From the state-sponsored murals of post-revolutionary Mexico to the "Constructive Universalism” of Joaquín Torres-García in Uruguay, how did artists align themselves with and distinguish themselves from movements and ideas circulating in Europe and the United States? When and why did U.S. institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art begin to collect, exhibit, and theorize art from Latin America? At mid-century, how was the proliferation of geometric abstraction in Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Caracas entangled with the modernization projects in those cities? In the wake of the Cuban Revolution, in what ways did the spread of anti-imperialist ideas radicalize artistic practices across the region? When dictatorships commandeered several countries from the 1960s through the 1980s, how did political and cultural repression generate new dangers but also new tactics for artists? Studying more recent practices, we will investigate art projects produced on the U.S.-Mexico border, the interaction between artists from Latin America and an increasingly global art world, and the curatorial trends characterizing the early twenty-first century display of art from the region. Throughout the course, the work of art will be analyzed as the battleground upon and across which political struggles were fought.

This course will be taught remotely with a combination of synchronous sessions on Zoom, including breakout room discussion groups, and asynchronous assignments.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Vicario.

If Overenrolled: Priority to majors, juniors and seniors


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Online Only, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021