The San Diego Museum of Art celebrates the multifaceted history of Latin American modernism with an exhibition drawn from one of the world’s foremost private collections. Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection charts a trajectory from the late 1800s to the first decade of this century, showcasing the work of seminal figures from countries including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and Uruguay. Arranged in three sections—Landscape and Identity, The Avant-Garde Explosion, and Breaking Boundaries: Post 1960s Diversity & Dystopia—the show explores the modern colonial history of Latin America; the importance of landscape painting in the formation of distinctive national identities; the influence of symbolism, the Latin American role in the formation of an international style; the variety of Latin American avant-gardes including Surrealism and hard-edged Abstraction; modern depictions of indigenous peoples and customs; progress and modernity in the age of the metropolis; and transgressive challenges to prevailing artistic idioms. Among the artists featured in this exhibition are Fernando Botero, Alfredo Castañeda, Pedro Figari, Gunther Gerzso, Félix González-Torres, Frida Kahlo (Kahlo’s paintings have to leave the exhibition early–the last day to see them is Monday, January 15), Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, Diego Rivera, Kazuya Sakai, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jesús Rafael Soto, Lino Eneas Spilimbergo, Rufino Tamayo, and Joaquín Torres-García. This first-ever display of this group of works allows Museum visitors a rare opportunity to see one of the finest collections of modern art from Latin America.

If you’d like to get more involved with Latin American art, consider joining the Latin American Arts Council.

PLEASE NOTE: The two paintings by Frida Kahlo, “Girl from Tehuacán, Lucha María or Sun and Moon” (1942) and “Survivor” (1938) will be leaving the exhibition in January. The last day to see them is Monday, January 15. However, the Modern Masters exhibition will on view through March 11.

Frida and Me

A number of Museum programs accompany Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection, including a lecture, panel discussions, fine arts workshops, and a series of Latin American films. Also in connection with the exhibition, the Museum presents Frida and Me, an interactive, multimedia, educational component for children regarding Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, her residence in Mexico City that furnished an important part of her artistic identity. Engaging young visitors creatively, Frida and Me will allow them to learn about Kahlo’s iconic self-portraits, her life story, and her relationship with prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera, whose work is also featured in Modern Masters from Latin America.

Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection is presented as a part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty with art institutions across Southern California. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.


Lead exhibition support is provided by Sheryl and Harvey White, California Bank & Trust, A. Fenner Milton, Gene and Taffin Ray, Frank and Demi Rogozienski, Sotheby’s, and Debbie Turner.  Additional exhibition support is provided by Toni Bloomberg, Senator Ben Hueso, Miguel and Carmela Koenig, Luis Maizel, Marjorie A. Mopper, Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek – A Law Corporation, Sunroad Automotive, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program, and the members of the San Diego Museum of Art.