Divided into three chapters (unsteady optics, a revolution of limits, and a modern worldview), museum-goers are shown how modernist abstraction was embraced in South America through art, architecture and home decor. For example, we get a glimpse of the wide creative range of Brazilian visual artist Hélio Oiticica. His prints, which play compositionally with repeating monochrome shapes, are a denunciation of figuration.
The hanging sculptures by Venezuelan artists Gego are a highlight of the exhibit, made primarily of steel, they are like line drawings lifted from a page and made three dimensional. In Reticularea Cuadrada 71/6 (1971) Fragile lines connect to make a grid, a blanket of mostly empty space. Shadows cast on the wall create a ghostly copy of an already frail-seeming arrangement.
Tucked away in a side gallery is Mondrian's abstract classic Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43), as it sits comfortably at home with its Latin American comrades, it is a reminder that Modernism, its interest in shape and materiality, was a concept that swept across the globe and was adopted and reinterpreted by many artists.