Best Art Show (2004)
"Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America" In 1965, Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez constructed an amazing light-based installation -- pre-James Turrell and Dan Flavin. And in the late '60s, Brazilian Lygia Clark created interactive works that employed brightly colored hoods to control participants' senses: Vision was obscured, sachets of spices over the nose provided olfactory sensation, and shell-like earpieces created the roar of the ocean. In the United States our conceptions of Latin American art often involve some sort of vague stereotype (usually involving folk art or painters such as Frida Kahlo or Diego Rivera). But Latin America has long been home to a diverse and thriving art scene - with artists that were often more avant-garde than their U.S. contemporaries. "Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston was the first United States exhibition to explore the subject. It presented an amazing collection of works that purposefully defied preconceptions, as it explored Latin American art from 1920 to 1970. It was a revelation to revel in.