The mission of the MFAH Latin American Art Department and its research institute, the International Center for Arts of the Americas (ICAA), is to collect, exhibit, research, and educate the public about the diverse production of Latin American and Latinx artists. Furthermore, the department and the ICAA endeavor to open new avenues of intercultural dialogue and exchange through an ambitious exhibition schedule and long-standing partnerships. Since 2001, when the department was first established, it has mounted 29 exhibitions, published 19 award-winning catalogues, and acquired over 800 works of art.

Current Exhibitions

Latin American Art at the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building

The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building's second-floor galleries feature Constructed Dialogues: Selections from the Latin American Collection. The exhibition brings together avant-garde groups and independent artists from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and Venezuela who have been active between the 1920s and today. The works are arranged in a way that creates thought-provoking contrasts across time and place, and they engage with the theoretical and artistic legacy of international Constructivism.


The exhibition marks the first permanent installation of Latin American art at the MFAH.


Past Exhibitions

Ernesto Neto: SunForceOceanLife (2021)

The Museum's summer installation, SunForceOceanLife (2021), by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, is a suspended walkway in Cullinan Hall. Visitors can explore the massive, spiraling structure with interactive pathways of vibrant materials woven into engaging patterns. Ernesto Neto's multi-sensory environments have captivated audiences globally. The exhibition takes inspiration from Brazil's diverse cultures.

Beatriz González: A Retrospective (2019-2020)

Beatriz González: A Retrospective (2019-2020) is the first U.S. exhibition of Colombian artist Beatriz González. It presents over 100 works from the last six decades, showcasing the full scope of González's oeuvre.

Between Play and Grief: Selections from the Latino American Collection (2019)

Between Play and Grief: Selections from the Latino American Collection (2019) displays 36 modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx artworks from MFAH's collection. It spans six decades and includes artists from post-war artistic movements and contemporary ones reflecting their identity as insiders and outsiders in the American experience.

Contesting Modernity: Informalism in Venezuela (2018-2019)

Contesting Modernity: Informalism in Venezuela, 1955–1975 (2018-2019) charts the trajectory of the Venezuelan Informalist movement from the mid-1950s through its last manifestations in the 1970s. More than 130 works of art across various media—collage, painting, assemblage, photography—showcase the richness and complexity of the underrepresented movement.

HOME – So Different, So Appealing (2017-2018)

HOME—So Different, So Appealing (2017-2018) exhibit showcases the works of U.S. Latino and Latin American artists from the late 1950s to the present day. These artists have used the concept of "home" to highlight the socioeconomic and political changes in the Americas over the past 70 years. In total, there are over 100 pieces of art created by 39 different artists, which explore the similarities and differences in art related to themes such as immigration, political repression, dislocation, and diaspora, as well as personal memory and romantic ideals.

Adiós Utopia: Dream and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 (2017)

Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 (2017) showcases how Cuba's quest for a social utopia and the resulting disappointment have influenced the country's art scene over the past 65 years. The exhibit features over 100 works, including painting, graphic design, photography, video, installation, and performance, created by more than 50 prominent Cuban artists and designers.

Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (2015-2016)

Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America (2015-2016) showcases a curated collection of works by 21 renowned artists from six countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela. The exhibition encompasses various artistic mediums such as drawing, sculpture, video, and interactive object- and video-based installations. It emphasizes contemporary artists who use visually appealing and captivating materials to express their social, political, and environmental concerns.

Cosmic Dialogues: Selections from the Latin American Art Collections (2015)

Cosmic Dialogues: Selections from the Latin American Art Collections (2015) is an exhibition of visually stunning works exploring space and light. The show features nearly 50 sculptures and drawings, including installations and masterpieces of Kinetic art. Visitors can engage with innovative Latin American artists in exciting ways through the driving theme of the cosmos in Modern and Contemporary works.

Antonio Berni: Juanita and Ramona (2013-2014)

Antonio Berni was a famous Argentinean artist known for his "New Realism" style. In the mid-1950s, he shifted from painting to assemblage, creating Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel out of discarded items to reflect Argentinean society. Berni's characters became famous legends and folk heroes, inspiring the first exhibition of its kind in nearly 50 years, titled Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona. The exhibition is a collaboration between the MFAH and Malba – Fundación Costantini in Buenos Aires.

Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time (2011)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Cruz-Diez Foundation presents Carlos Cruz-Diez: Color in Space and Time (2011) - a large-scale retrospective that showcases over 150 works created from the 1940s to today. The exhibition includes innovative chromatic structures, silk-screen prints, videos, and a virtual re-creation of the artist's studio. The exhibition introduces international audiences to Cruz-Diez's extensive production and places his theoretical and artistic contributions to 20th-century Modernism in a broader context than previously seen.

North Looks South: Building the Latin American Art Collection (2009)

North Looks South: Building the Latin American Collection (2009) commemorates the Museum's significant procurement of Latin American art since 2001. It comprises over 80 works in various mediums from the 1920s to the present. The exhibit is structured around unexpected combinations of artists and pieces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, the United States, and Venezuela.



Awarded best thematic show nationally in the USA by the International Association of Art Critics, Inverted Utopias (2004) was the first exhibition in the United States devoted to the brilliant, innovative contributions of Latin American artists to the phenomenon that became the 20th-century avant-garde. The exhibition spans the decades 1920 to 1970, bringing together more than 200 works by 67 artists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The presentation integrates outstanding examples of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, assemblage, mixed media, installation, and performance) with printed materials (books, manifestos, and reviews).


The New York Times selected Inverted Utopias as one of the two best art exhibitions in the United States during the first decade of the 21st Century. Holland Cotter, “Depending On the Culture of Strangers,” NYT, Sunday. January 3, 2010.