Cite, Site, Sights

Dispatches on Latin American art and culture

December 19, 2017

Caribbean Popular, Caribbean Contemporary: Current Artistic Practices of Havana, Cuba

In his third and final article reporting on his summer 2017 visit to the Caribbean, Julián Sánchez turns his eye to Cuban artists Glenda León and Yulier Rodríguez. While León’s practice is studio-based, and Rodríguez—known as Yulier P.—intervenes in public spaces to create his art, both artists have found a way to employ seemingly apolitical naîve aesthetics to address both politics and the human condition in their native Havana.

Read Article
November 2, 2017

Female Eyes on South America: Ida Pfeiffer (1797–1858)

Katherine Manthorne makes a case for the Austrian nineteenth-century world traveler Ida Pfeiffer as a proto-feminist. Pfeiffer wrote accounts of her journeys, undertaken beginning when she was 45 years old and had separated from her husband after raising the couple’s sons. Published in her native German, the journals were popular enough to be translated into several languages.

Read Article
October 25, 2017

Caribbean Popular, Caribbean Contemporary: Current Artistic Practices of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

In the first of a three-part series looking at the interchange of contemporary Caribbean art with vernacular traditions, Julián Sánchez González presents the work of Dominican artists Quisqueya Henríquez, Natalia Ortega, and Engel Leonardo as touchstones for a discussion about "Dominicanidad", the influence of a collective ethos, and a return to original sources of art in the Dominican Republic.

Read Article
September 28, 2017

Night Vision

Notes on Seeing Concrete Art Under Ultraviolet Light

Getty conservator Pia Gottschaller explains the multi-faceted approach her team used to analyze the material and techniques of Concrete works from the CPPC. Cross-sections of paint as well as non-invasive tools that measure electromagnetic spectrum and anecdotal evidence from interviews and archival photographs combine to tell a story that is complex, sometimes ambiguous, and open to informed interpretation.

Read Article
September 26, 2017

Female Eyes on South America: Elizabeth Cary Agassiz (1822–1907)

A Journey in Brazil in 1865–66

Although having only traveled between her family's summer home near her native Boston prior to her marriage to the scientist Louis Agassiz, Elizabeth Agassiz proved herself an intrepid expedition member and acute observer of life in Brazil when she accompanied her husband there from 1865-72. Katherine Manthorne recounts Elizabeth Agassiz' crucial contributions to knowledge about 19th-century Brazil's natural and cultural circumstances.

Read Article
August 23, 2017

Female Eyes on South America: Maria Sibylla Merian in Surinam, 1699–1701

Katherine Manthorne relates the adventures of a groundbreaking traveler artist, Maria Sibyla Merian. With her magnum opus, The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam, published in 1705, Merian left an unparalleled verbal and visual record of of indigenous insects that she and her daughter, Dorothea Graff, studied and described while traveling in Surinam, also known as Dutch Guiana.

Read Article
August 14, 2017

Variations on the Task of Photography

Sandra Pinardi discusses three photographers—Claudio Perna, Paolo Gasparini, and Alfredo Cortina—whose work transcends what Vilem Flusser has characterized as the production of “technical images” to produce images that subvert photography’s assumed documentary function and reinvent the medium.

Read Article
July 21, 2017

Female Eyes on South America: Maria Graham

Traveling in Chile and Brazil in the early nineteenth century, Maria Graham distinguished herself as a naturalist, diarist, and artist, bringing her first-hand visual and verbal accounts of her journeys to a fascinated audience back home in England. Art historian Katherine Manthorne provides an overview of Graham's remarkable accomplishments.

Read Article