Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Art and the History of Art, Amherst College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2013
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Art History/Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Import/Export: Raw Materials, Hemispheric Expertise and the Making of Latin American Art, 1933-1945

This dissertation analyzes the construction of a field called "Latin American art" in the years between 1933 and 1945. Conditioned both by anti-imperial ideals and neo-imperialist agendas both within and outside Latin America, this field was negotiated by artists who operated as transnationally mobile cultural brokers in the midst of geopolitical reorganization. This dissertation argues that the import/export market for works by artists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros, Joaquín Torres-García, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, and Cândido Portinari during the 1930s and 1940s produced a field called Latin American art at the interface of what I am terming hemispheric expertise (the cross-disciplinary project to collect and organize knowledge about the region). It was within this field that artists produced coded, polysemic images reflexively analyzing the discursive and commercial networks linking, among others, Mexico City, Havana, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, and New York, conditioning their production, circulation, exhibition, critical reception, and sale. In particular, struggles over raw materials which shaped relations between Latin America and its export markets in turn shaped these works as spaces of representation in which such conflicts were figured, camouflaged, abstracted, and critiqued.