Aleca Le Blanc is a scholar of modernism, specializing in Latin American art and architecture with a focus on Brazil. Her scholarship addresses paradigms of abstraction, institutional histories, and global modernisms. She is currently at work on a book about that period entitled, Concrete and Steel: Artists in Industrial Brazil, in which she considers how a young avant-garde generation in Brazil’s cosmopolitan centers reimagined their relationship to the rapidly modernizing society in which they found themselves. She is the Book Reviews Editor for Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture. In the coming year, she’ll conduct archival research in Rio de Janeiro as a Fulbright Fellow.
Le Blanc was co-curator of Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, an exhibition at the Getty Museum in September 2017 and part of the region-wide initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America. She has lectured at the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Pinacoteca in São Paulo, the Universität Zürich, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Chicago, among other venues. Before joining the faculty at UC Riverside, she was the Managing Editor of the Getty Research Journal, a peer reviewed scholarly publication.
Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros was recently featured in UCR Today: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/50533
Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A., Columbia University
B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara
Area of Specialization: Modern Latin American art and architecture with a focus on Brazil; global modernisms, architecture and urbanism, visual culture, abstraction, institutional histories, and collecting and display.
Incendiary objects: An episodic history of the Museum de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro,” in Art Museums of Latin America: Structuring Representation, eds Michele Greet and Gina Tarver. (Routledge Press, 2018).
Making Art Concrete: Abstract Art from Argentina and Brazil in the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection. (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2017).
“Serpa, Portinari, Palatnik and Pedrosa; The Drama of an “Artistic Moment” in 1951 Rio de Janeiro.” Diálogo (Contemporary Latino and Latin American Art Thematic Issue) Peer-reviewed journal. March 2017.
“The Disorder and Progress of Brazilian Visual Culture in 1959” in Breathless Days, 1959-1960, eds. Serge Guilbaut and John O’Brian, (Duke University Press, 2017).
Exhibition review, Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art. The Museum of Modern art. Caareviews.com. November 2016
“Under Construction: Rio de Janeiro in 1959” in Transatlantic Encounters: Avant-Garde Discourses in Spain and Latin America 1920–1970, ed. Paula Barreiro López (Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2015).
“Traveling through Time and Space: Calder in Brazil” in Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-garde to Iconic, ed. Stephanie Barron. (Los Angeles and New York: Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Prestel Publishing, 2013): 120-135
“’A Democratic Education for the Masses’: Ivan Serpa at the Museu de Arte Moderna,” in Ivan Serpa: Pioneering Abstraction in Brazil Exhibition catalogue. (New York: Dickinson, 2012): 9-21
“Palmeiras and Pilotis: Promoting Brazil with Modern Architecture.” Third Text: Brazil special issue (February 2012): 103-116.
“Building the Tropical World of Tomorrow: The Construction of Brasilidade at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.” Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas 2 (Summer 2009): 26-45.
Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
2017, Los Angeles: Getty Publications
In the years after World War II, artists in Argentina and Brazil experimented with geometric abstraction and engaged in lively debates about the role of the artwork in society. Some of these artists used novel synthetic materials, creating objects that offered an alternative to established traditions in painting—proposing that these objects become part of everyday, concrete reality. Combining art historical and scientific analysis, experts from the Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Research Institute are collaborating with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a world-renowned collection of Latin American art, to research the formal strategies and material decisions of these artists working in the concrete and neo-concrete vein.
Making Art Concrete presents works by Lygia Clark, Willys de Castro, Judith Lauand, Raúl Lozza, Hélio Oiticica, and Rhod Rothfuss, among others, with spectacular new photography. The photographs, along with information about the now-invisible processes that determine the appearance of these works, are key to interpreting the artists’ technical choices as well as the objects themselves. Indeed, this volume sheds further light on the social, political, and cultural underpinnings of the artists’ propositions, making a compelling addition to the field of postwar Latin American art.
This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center September 16, 2017 through February 11, 2018. Making Art Concrete is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.