Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Radical Geometry @ Royal Academy


Photograph of Jesús Soto's Nylon Cube by Benedict Johnson, courtesy of the Royal Academy

A couple of Fridays ago I was invited to the splendid Latin Takeover event at the Royal Academy. It was a night of music, dancing, mojitos out in the courtyard and the Radical Geometry exhibition inside.

When I think of modern art, I immediately think of European and North American artists like Picasso, Mondrian and Lichtenstein. I suspect like most people, South American artists from the same era haven't entered my horizon before.

The evening started with a short talk from the Royal Acamdemy's Head of Learning about the exhibition. She illuminated us as to how South American artists from the early and mid Twentieth Century were inspired by European artists, and also reacting to the cultural change which were going on in their own countries at the time.

The compact exhibition is centred around artists from Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, with a room dedicated to each country. The Venezuelan room was my favourite with Jesús Soto's Nylon Cube at its centre. Blue, black and silver painted strands of fishing wire hang vertically in a cube, revealing different shapes as you walked around it. It is one of those pieces that you need to experience for yourself to fully appreciate. Seeing a photo just doesn't do it justice (although I've included one above to give you a taster).

As we left the Academy there were lots of people outside enjoying live music, a dance class and mojitos in the in the late evening sunshine.

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