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Nonobjects and Folded Frames

Monica Amor, MICA; Irene V. Small, Princeton

October 4, 2016 · 5:00 pm EDT · School of Architecture, N-107

Media and Modernity

Mónica Amor and Irene V. Small in conversation about art and abstraction at the edge of modernity.

 Mónica Amor and Irene V. Small will discuss their recent books, Theories of the Nonobject: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, 1944-1969 (University of California Press, 2016) and Hélio Oiticica: Folding the Frame (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

In Theories of the Nonobject, Amor investigates the crisis of the sculptural and painterly object in the concrete, neoconcrete, and constructivist practices of artists in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. The book presents case studies of specific movements, artists, and critics, tracing their role in the significant reconceptualization of the artwork that Brazilian critic and poet Ferreira Gullar heralded in “Theory of the Nonobject,” a seminal essay published in 1959. Exploring the philosophical, economic, and political underpinnings of geometric abstraction in post–World War II South America, Amor highlights the overlapping inquiries of artists and critics such as Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Gego who, working on the periphery of European and US modernism, contributed to a sophisticated conversation about the nature of the art object and dismissed medium-based understandings of art.

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