July 27, 2017

Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection

Private Collection will be Displayed Publicly for the First Time

SAN DIEGO, CAThe San Diego Museum of Art is pleased to present Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection, an exhibition showcasing nearly 100 works of art by some of the greatest modern masters from countries including Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Drawn from one of the world’s foremost private collections, this exhibition illustrates the multifaceted history of Latin American modernism. The collection will be on view at the Museum October 21, 2017 through March 11, 2018.

Spanning the late 1800s to the first decade of this century, Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection represents more than 75 artists, each celebrated for their respective techniques and regional influence on modernism. Noteworthy artists include Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Fernando Botero, Jose Maria Velasco, Joaquín Torres-García, Kazuya Sakai, Jesús Rafael Soto, Roberto Matta, Wifredo Lam, as well as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco – the three pioneers of the Mexican muralism movement.

The exhibition is framed by three major themes–Landscape and Identity, The Avant-Garde Explosion, and Breaking Boundaries: Post-1960s Diversity & Dystopia–and will explore the importance of landscape painting in the formation of national identities; the influence of Symbolism and Latin America’s role in developing the international style; the variety of Latin American avant-gardes including Surrealism and Abstraction; modern depictions of indigenous cultures and more.

Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection is a visual representation of the appropriation and reinvention of Modernism in Latin America, and brings together a remarkable selection of artists,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director of The San Diego Museum of Art and curator for the exhibition. “We are honored to bring this private collection of Latin American works from Mexico for the very first time, and to share it with the San Diego community and its visitors.”  Velásquez is the curator for the exhibition with guest co-curator Rocío Guerrero and assistance from Anita Feldman, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Education, and Ariel Plotek, Ph.D., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Juan Antonio Pérez Simón is a Spanish-Mexican businessman and celebrated art collector who began to build his collection in the 1970s. His passion for art and taste for culture has led him to acquire and continue to expand one of the world’s greatest collections of portraits, landscapes, and abstraction.

Modern Masters from Latin America is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

To complement this exhibition, The San Diego Museum of Art is hosting Frida and Me, an educational exhibition aimed at children that explores the inventiveness and power of Frida Kahlo’s work. Produced by the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris as well as Arts & Fun and its general manager, Deidré Guevara Gallegos, Frida and Me is composed of multiple modules based on Kahlo’s life and the famed Casa Azul, her residence in Mexico City that furnished an important part of her artistic identity. Each section features interactive elements and workshops that engage young visitors creatively and help them tap into the artist within. On view for the first time in the U.S., Frida and Me is open throughout the run of Modern Masters from Latin America. Previously, Frida and Me toured throughout the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Spain, and Mexico.

Additional programming that will accompany Modern Masters from Latin America includes a lecture, panel discussions, fine arts workshops, a series of Latin American films, and more. There will also be a catalogue available with contributions from Roxana Velásquez, Rocío Guerrero, and Gerardo Mosquera.