LATIN AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS HIT THE BIG TIME
By Latin American Art Journal
Lygia Clark, Doris Salcedo, Tania Brueger, Beatriz Milhares, Priscilla Monge. The list could go on forever, but these are just a few of the women artists from the vast continent of Latin America who are now becoming household names on the international art scene.
Thanks to interest in movements such as the Geometric Abstract tradition of artists such as Jesús Soto or Alejandro Otero, Latin American art is now a regular fixture in both art institutions and events on an international scale. But this wasn’t always the case.
Where it all began
Thirty years ago nobody had a clue who Frida Kahlo was, but the worldwide obsession with her painful and deeply personal paintings, helped along by a generous dose of marketing, mean that nowadays Frida doesn’t even need her surname.
And she’s not the only female artist to hit the big time. Lygia Clark and Lygia Pape from Brazil are just two more examples of Latin American artists whose work is finally receiving the worldwide attention it deserves.
With proven success in the international market, there is no doubt that art from the 22 countries in the region is becoming ever more attractive to buyers and critics alike. And contemporary artists are no exception.
Unlike the famed Geometric abstract artists, today’s Latin American female artists are not easily classifiable. Each of these women’s work encompasses its own complex emotional universe, driven by the pressing need to express not only their passions and feelings but also their informed opinions about the world around them. It’s only natural that their works span a multitude of formats, such as video, performance, photography, sculpture and painting. In short, whatever it takes for these artists to get their personal and often shocking message across.
Names to keep an eye on
Marta Minujin, Raquel Forner (Argentina)
Tania Bruger, Marina Núnez de Prado, Ana Mendieta (Cuba)
Doris Salcedo, María Fernanda Cardoso (Colombia)
Teresa Margolles, Cordelia Urueta, Frida Kahlo, Lola Mola (Mexico)
Regina José Galindo (Guatemala)
Priscilla Monge (Costa Rica)
Sandra Gamarra, Milagros de la Torre, Tilsa Tsuchiga, Julia Codesido (Peru)
Patricia Belli (Nicaragua)
Anna María Maiolino, Adriana Varejao, Lygia Clark, Anita Malfatti, Beatriz Milhares , Lygia Pape (Brazil)
Note: This article draws on the fascinating video ‘El Efecto Frida’ by Fietta Jarque and Álvaro de la Rúa, published on El País online edition, 04.10.11