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  • Written by Alexandra Sullivan


Phaidon’s latest release: ‘Latin American Artists From 1785 to Now’ showcases art from 20 Latin American countries and 308 artists over 352 pages. The publication invites readers to celebrate artistry throughout history, featuring artists from over 200 years ago to those living and working today.

The author, Raphael Fonseca, is a researcher in curating, art history, art criticism and education. With this book, he aimed at spotlighting artists already celebrated in a national and local sphere, but still unknown internationally. The publication intends to provide a platform to Latin American art, one that is sometimes relegated to a folklore status, to showcase the richness of its forms, creativity and inspirations.

Phaidon editors also worked closely with esteemed historians, critics, curators, writers and collectors to ensure a seamless publication covering everything from aesthetics to politics. Each page features a piece of art paired with an excerpt about the artist and their work.

The piece, which is organized in alphabetical order, demonstrates the differences in artists despite having similar cultural histories by focusing on those born, or who have lived in the 20 Spanish and Portuguese-speaking regions of Latin America. Placing these artists from different countries, periods and movements side by side allows for readers to be quickly transported through time and across these different regions to experience the rich creative output that these artists produce.

The artists, both with contemporary and modern catalogues, are gaining wider recognition than ever before. Released on Oct. 5 during Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, Fonseca said that while he hopes to capture the identities of Latin American artists, “The only certainty when circumscribing the identity of any place is that something will always be missing.” There is no way to fully capture the ins and outs of an entire region.


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