In this text, Damián Bayón introduces a collection of essays on Latin American art with a broad overview of what he argues are the most critical issues when considering the historical and contemporary art of the region as a whole. He begins by considering the term “Latin American,” ultimately suggesting that it is useful because it has helped Latin Americans define themselves as something different from the United States. But, he is also cautious of the cultural stereotypes that have been associated with the term, such as the notion that Latin America is a “cultura del calor,” [culture of heat] or that its arts are naturally prone towards both the baroque or surreal. There are, however, cultural commonalities that unite it, he contends, such as how its various races have mixed, since the colonial era, to form a diverse array of mestizo peoples. Bayón devotes a substantial portion of the text recounting how a common Latin American culture has manifested itself from the colonial period up to around 1900. He devotes the next portion of the text to the subject of contemporary art, and to outlining a series of theoretical concepts that illustrate how this work has engaged in issues associated with the question of Latin American identity. In the last segment of the text, Bayón notes how the issue of identity in contemporary Latin American art has been debated in a number of productive forums, and how many important issues have come to light as a result of these debates. These include the revival of drawing, the appearance of geometric abstraction in Mexico, the rise of conceptualism, among others. Bayón concludes by urging his readers to question old assumptions about Latin American art, such as its uniformly socio-political orientation, and to demand excellence and critical rigor from Latin American artists.