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MoMA Unveils Major Latin American Architecture Survey

MoMA Unveils Major Latin American Architecture Survey

Posted by Juan Gavasa on March 27, 2015

It has been 60 years since the Museum of Modern Art last dedicated an exhibition to the architecture of Latin America. A new survey, opening Sunday, proves another is long overdue. Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 offers a sweeping panorama of one of the most fecund periods in the region’s architectural history—a quarter-century marked by rapid urbanization, shifting politics, and bold ideas.

The show’s primary goal, said curator Barry Bergdoll, is to “reinsert Latin America into our history of modernism and modernization in architecture.”

Affonso Eduardo Reidy. Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1934-1947. Photo © Núcleo de Documentação e Pesquisa – Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Organized by Bergdoll, curatorial assistant Patricio del Real, Jorge Francisco Liernur of the Universidad Torcuata di Tella in Buenos Aires, and Carlos Eduardo Comas of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, along with an advisory committee spanning South and Central America, Latin America in Construction took years to coordinate.

The exhibition examines a broad range of topics, including urban planning, innovations in housing (both individual and multi-unit), university design, and civic and public spaces. More than 500 original works are on display—many shown for the first time—and include drawings, models, archival films, and photographs, from Lucio Costa’s airplane-shaped Pilot Plan for Brasilia on yellowing drafting paper to intricate specially-commissioned architectural models of preeminent structures.

Juan Sordo Madaleno. Edificio Palmas 555, Mexico City, Mexico 1975.

Photo © Guillermo Zamora. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

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