Skip to Main Content

Please join the Frost Art Museum FIU as we discuss contemporary art of Latin America in relation to Accumulate, Classify, Preserve, Display: Roberto Obregón Archive from the Carolina and Fernando Eseverri Collection, curated by Jesús Fuenmayor, Program Director and Visiting Curator, University Galleries, University of Florida and Kaira Cabañas, Ph.D., Professor in Global Modern and Contemporary Art and affiliate faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. 

This panel discussion will address the role of research in an artist’s work, as well as the relationship among display, creativity, and innovative forms of knowledge. Presenters include Jennifer Josten, Ph.D., Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh and Fernanda Pitta, Ph.D., Senior Curator, Pinacoteca Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. The artistic practices of Mariana Castillo Deball, Laercio Redondo, and Roberto Obregón will be explored. For 30 years, conceptual artist Roberto Obregón dedicated himself to the rose. He dismantled its kitsch aesthetic and introduced a pseudo-scientific approach to its dissection. 

Kaira M. Cabañas is Professor in Global Modern and Contemporary Art and affiliate faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She is the author of Learning from Madness: Brazilian Modernism and Global Contemporary Art (University of Chicago Press, 2018), Off-Screen Cinema: Isidore Isou and the Lettrist Avant-Garde (University of Chicago Press, 2015), and The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme: Art and the Performative in Postwar France (Yale University Press, 2013). In 2012 she curated (and edited the catalogue for) the exhibition Specters of Artaud: Language and the Arts in the 1950s at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.  Cabañas’s writings have appeared in numerous international museum publications and academic journals, including October, Grey Room, Les Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, O que nos faz pensar, and Oxford Art Journal. She regularly contributes to Artforum. Her forthcoming book, Immanent Vitalities: Matter and Meaning in Modern and Contemporary Art, will be published in early 2021 by the University of California Press.

Jesús Fuenmayor is a curator with more than thirty years of experience in the field, currently Program Director and Visiting Curator at the University Galleries of the University of Florida, where he curated the first institutional solo exhibition of the late Latin American artist Roberto Obregón. In 2018 he was the Chief Curator for the XIV Cuenca International Biennial. In 2015 he curated the exhibition Eugenio Espinoza: Unruly Supports at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, as well as Gego: Autobiography of a Line at the Dominique Lévy Gallery in New York. From 2012 to 2015 he was Director and Curator of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2011, he served as Director of the Fundación Periférico Caracas, also curating exhibitions on contemporary artists including Antoni Muntadas, Meyer Vaisman, Arocha + Schraenen, Jorge Pedro Núñez, Montserrat Soto, Jaime Gili, and Danilo Dueñas. He has organized curatorial workshops and seminars and published extensively in international art magazines as well as museum catalogues and anthologies of contemporary art.

Jennifer Josten is associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research charts the flow of artists, forms, and ideas among and between Latin America, Europe, and the United States since 1940. Her interests include the art and architecture of modern Mexico and Latin America; transatlantic and regional artist-based networks and groups of the post-World War II era; and the presence of the pre-Columbian past and the indigenous present in modern and contemporary art. Her book, Mathias Goeritz: Modernist Art and Architecture in Cold War Mexico (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018) examines the dramatic cultural and political transformations of the 1940s–1970s within and beyond Mexico through the lens of the polyvalent artistic and critical practice of the Mexico-based German artist Mathias Goeritz (1915–1990). She has collaborated on a number of exhibition projects, and has recently contributed essays to the catalogues for Art_Latin_America: Against the Survey (Davis Museum at Wellesley College, 2019), Pop América: 1965–1975 (Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, and McNay Art Museum, 2018), among others.

Fernanda Pitta is Senior Curator at Pinacoteca de São Paulo and Lecturer in the History of Art at FAAP-São Paulo.  Her research interests focus primarily on paradigms of national art in transnational and postcolonial contexts. She has been FAPESP Ms and PhD Fellow (1996-1999, 2009-2013), International Curator Awardee Fellow of the AAMC and AAMC Foundation International Engagement Program (2016-2018), Summer Collaborative Working Group Fellow at the Clark Art Institute (Summer 2017), visiting scholar at Fakultet for kunst, musikk og design, Norway (Winter, 2019) and a awardee of the Getty Library Grant (2021). Her latest’s curatorial projects were Laercio Redondo: Recast and Artist’s work: image and self-image (1826-1929) (2018) and Adrià Julià: not even the dead will survive (2019-2020). Currently, she is curatorial coordinator of the exhibition Véxoa: we know, curated by Naine Terena, which presents contemporary indigenous art for the first time at Pinacoteca.

Roberto Obregón, Niagara III (Bi En and Di Em), 1994, Cut rubber, nails and colored long-staple wool, overall dimensions 79 ⅛ x 262 ⅗ inches, © Archivo Roberto Obregón