The Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) is a world-renowned institution whose reputation rests most notably on its significant and unique European art collections, which span eight centuries of Western art history. The exhibition Transformations was conceived out of a desire to present to a new audience the excellence and richness of one of the museum’s least-known areas of collecting and research: its works by Latin American artists.
This selection of artworks from the MAP’s Latin American collection concentrates mainly on works created during the 1960s, a decade in which paradigm shifts were the norm and vanguard artists in the region explored many different styles and cultural transformations. These transformations led to the emergence of their own visual vernaculars, which integrated their pre-Columbian pasts and post-colonial histories with the trends that had been assimilated from European art movements.
Latin America and the Caribbean are vast and varied in languages, cuisine, culture, but mostly in their expressions through art. Though their colonial past and constant political turmoil are shared, little else is.
Artists of the 1960s felt a commitment to their realities and societies. As such, art was not only transformed aesthetically, but for many it finally became political, a way to shine a light on inequalities and celebrate national identities separate from their colonized past.
Distributed throughout four gallery spaces, the works included in Transformations are presented in thematic clusters that reference social interests, aesthetic preoccupations, and realities that were shared throughout these countries by their vanguard creators. Therefore, this small yet ambitious exhibition presents a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the works of such an extraordinary group of twentieth-century Latin American creators (whether by birth or by choice) and the multiple styles in which they worked.