Project History

The ICAA Documents Project began with a concentrated “Recovery Phase” that spanned 2005–15, leading to the compilation of primary sources that comprise this digital archive. To recover these primary sources, the ICAA organized 10 research teams based in 16 cities supported by partner institutions in the United States and Latin America. These teams analyzed the ICAA Documents Project’s Editorial Framework to chart out research objectives specific to the countries or communities in which they were active. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, served as the organizing and host institution for the entire project.
Recovered texts provide a much-needed intellectual foundation for the exhibition, collection, and interpretation of art produced along this cultural axis. Countries featured in the first phase of this multi-year project include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Latinx USA. The ICAA Digital Archive reflects the findings of this monumental digitization project and is available, free of charge, to the research and teaching community as well as to the public at large.

Editorial Framework

A. RESISTING CATEGORIES: LATIN AMERICAN AND/OR LATINO?

B. NATIONAL IMAGINARIES/COSMOPOLITAN IDENTITIES

C. RECYCLING AND HYBRIDITY IN THE ART OF LATINO-AMERICA

D. RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER IN THE VISUAL ARTS OF LATINO-AMERICA

E. ART, ACTIVISM, AND SOCIAL CHANGE

F. SUPRAREALISM, MAGIC REALISM, AND THE FANTASTIC

G. NEW WORLD GEOMETRIC AND CONSTRUCTIVE UTOPIAS

H. ABSTRACTS VS. FIGURATIVES IN THE COLD WAR PERIOD

I. IN PURSUIT OF DEMOCRACY: GRAPHICS AND COMMUNITY-BUILDING

J. EXILE, DISPLACEMENT, DIASPORA

K. CONCEPTUALISMS AND NON-OBJECT-BASED ART

L. MASS MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, AND ART

M. GLOBALIZATION AND ITS LATIN AMERICAN DIS/CONTENTS

Historic Partners

ARGENTINA
FUNDACIÓN ESPIGAS, BUENOS AIRES 

See above. 

Phase I Team (2004–2007)

  • Patricia M. Artundo, PhD, Team Coordinator
  • Marina Barón Supervielle, Administrator
  • Roberto Amigo, Researcher
  • Sofía Frigerio, Researcher
  • Ana Longoni, Consulting Researcher
  • Victoria Lopresto, Researcher
  • Virginia Piccini, Researcher
  • Natalia Pineau, Researcher
  • Cristina Rossi, PhD, Researcher
  • Candelaria Artundo, Administrative Assistant

 

BRAZIL
FUNDAÇÃO DE AMPARO À PESQUISA DO ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO (FAPESP), SÃO PAULO 

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP, Foundation of the State of São Paulo) is one of Brazil´s most important grant-making government agencies for research in the sciences, technology, and the humanities. Linked to the country’s Secretariat for Science, Technology, Economic Development, and Tourism, FAPESP has been granting funds and scholarships in all areas of knowledge since 1962. It also finances other activities in support of research, educational and cultural interchange, and the popularization of science and technology in the State of São Paulo.

As one of Brazil’s leading research organizations, FAPESP, through its collaboration with the partner team, ensured the inclusion of a considerable number of documents regarding the production, interpretation, and display of 20th-century Brazilian visual arts. The dissemination of these materials among scholarly audiences in Latin America and the United States encourages a greater number of comparative histories and assists in updating educational and art-historical curricula to reflect the diverse cultural enclaves of the Americas.

In addition to generous support from FAPESP, the University of São Paulo provided office space in the restored Rua Maranhão Art Nouveau palace that is part of its School of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU/USP).

 

CHILE
SEMINARIO DE INVESTIGACIÓN DE HISTORIA DEL ARTE, UNIVERSIDAD DE PLAYA ANCHA VALPARAÍSO, CHILE  

Active since 1999, the Seminario was founded by the research team for the exhibition CHILE, 100 Years of Visual Arts, curated by Justo Pastor Mellado and organized by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago. The Seminario’s members, who belong to various academic disciplines, initially focused on Chilean art production between 1973 and 2000. Later, they expanded their framework to include the periods 1920–30 and 1950–60 to delve into the theoretical problems of historic reconstruction. During their initial meetings, the team members identified critical contributions to Chilean contemporary art through the examination of earlier decades of the 20th century. This was an overlooked aspect of Chilean art history that proved to be relevant for the development of a new area of scholarship. The Seminario is now working on a compilation of artists’ texts and manifestos as a means of reconstituting the history of Chilean Conceptualism. The Seminario will connect and interface with the website Textos de Arte en Chile, an ongoing web-based visual-arts documents archive.

 

COLOMBIA
UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES, BOGOTÁ 

The Universidad de los Andes is a private institution offering 28 undergraduate and 61 graduate degree programs. It is renowned for its support of scholarly research in several fields, including history and theory of modern and contemporary art. Its research initiative is conducted through Colciencias, an entity that specializes in Colombian and Latin American visual arts. The initiative includes a publications program and sponsorship of the annual Premio Nacional de Crítica (Award for Criticism).

 

MEXICO
CURARE, ESPACIO CRÍTICO PARA LAS ARTES, MEXICO CITY 

CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, was founded in 1991 by a group of critics and art historians based in Mexico City. It is a nonprofit organization primarily dedicated to the research and analysis of visual culture within a multidisciplinary context. CURARE offers research services, discussion groups, workshops, and specialized seminars. It also organizes guided tours led by expert historians and critics to different art sites (including mural programs) and private collections in Mexico. In October 1991, CURARE published its first quarterly bulletin, which evolved into the most important journal for the dissemination of art-historical research and contemporary visual culture in Mexico. 

 

PERU
MUSEO DE ARTE DE LIMA (MALI), LIMA 

Housed in a neo-Renaissance palace built between 1870 and 1871, the museum is devoted to preserving and exhibiting its historic collection of Peruvian art, which comprises objects dating from pre-Columbian times to the contemporary period and also features temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. The museum’s library and archives of Peruvian art comprise one of the largest art documentation centers in Peru, containing 5,000 volumes of original artists’ writings and rare manuscripts as well as 10,000 images related to Peruvian art.

 

UNITED STATES 
CHICANO STUDIES RESEARCH CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES (UCLA) 

UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) was founded in 1969 with a commitment to foster multidisciplinary research efforts in keeping with the University of California’s community-centered mission. The CSRC serves the entire campus and supports faculty and students in the social and life sciences, humanities, and the professional schools. Its research addresses the growing Chicano and Latino populations, which now constitute nearly one-third of California and one-half of Los Angeles, but continue to have disproportionately low access to higher education. The CSRC also forms part of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), a consortium of 18 Latino research centers located at major higher-education institutions in the United States. The CSRC houses a library and special collections archive, an academic press, research projects, community-based partnerships, two competitive grant/fellowship programs, and the Los Tigres del Norte Fund. Since the 1970s, the CSRC has held six faculty positions that are placed on loan to other departments, thereby enabling the center to increase its research capacity and serve as a vital force for diversifying the curriculum and faculty across the UCLA campus.

The CSRC team also comprised affiliate researchers based in New York City (Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York), Miami (Florida International University), and San Juan (Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte de Río Piedras, Universidad de Puerto Rico).

 

INSTITUTE FOR LATINO STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, SOUTH BEND, INDIANA 

The Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame promotes understanding and appreciation of the social, cultural, and religious life of U.S. Latinos through advancing research, expanding knowledge, and strengthening community. It plays a pivotal role in providing an academic environment at Notre Dame that furthers knowledge and understanding of the Latino experience in the United States. Founded in 1999 on the outstanding intellectual tradition in Latino studies that was established at the university by Julián Samora (professor in the Department of Sociology, 1959–85), the institute seeks to enhance interdisciplinary study and research in Latino studies as a vital component of the university’s academic mission. While the institute has distinguished itself in the social sciences since its founding, it has increased its national profile in the arts with initiatives that include the 2004 establishment of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, a first-book prize for Latino poets; and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for the multidisciplinary proposal “Poetas y Pintores,” a research and exhibition project in full partnership with the Center for Women’s Inter-Cultural Leadership at Saint Mary’s College. The Institute is also the headquarters for the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR), a consortium of 18 institutions that brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines to conduct policy-relevant research on Latinos.

The Institute for Latino Studies team also comprised affiliate researchers in Washington D.C. (2012–13)

 

URUGUAY
MUSEO DE BELLAS ARTES JUAN MANUEL BLANES, MONTEVIDEO 

The Museo de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes operates under the auspices of the city of Montevideo’s Department of Culture. The museum’s cultural and political purpose was clear from the outset. Founded in 1930 on the occasion of the centennial of Uruguay’s independence, the museum formed as part of an effort to strengthen the city government. It is named after a painter who, on the 100th anniversary of the nation, would help create Uruguay’s iconography. As the institution grew, its initial conception—which revolved around its building and was initially based on the model of museums and collections characteristic of the 19th century—underwent modification. Starting in 1940 and at the insistence of the museum’s director—painter César Pesce Castro—the institution began to receive works awarded at the Salón Municipal. In the 1950s, it also accepted works of contemporary art. In response to the current international crisis on the role of museums and their collections, the institution is committed to reconstructing its identity once again; it is now more concerned with “resignifying and problematizing” its collections than with growing them. It also seeks to be more accessible to the work of present-day artists and to perform a cultural service at both the national and regional levels by functioning as a site of living culture.

 

VENEZUELA
FUNDACIÓN MERCANTIL, CARACAS
 

As one of the leading financial conglomerates in Venezuela, Banco Mercantil has a solid tradition of community and cultural involvement. Since its establishment more than 80 years ago, its foundation has consistently developed programs that transcend its core financial activities, investing heavily in the welfare of the communities it serves. Programming support for projects in education, health, culture, religion, and sports is administered through its charitable foundation. Additionally, the foundation has one of the best collections of Venezuelan art in the world. Through the creation of a corporate collection, the foundation actively acquires and exhibits works from the colonial period through the 19th- and 21st centuries in an effort to put forth a vision of creative and intellectual coherence within the context of Latin American art history. Additionally, through this endeavor the bank is ensuring that the country’s artistic heritage is preserved for the enjoyment of future generations of Venezuelans.