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Libertad de Expresión

The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics

On view February 19- May 31, 2015


Libertad de Expresión: The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics is a survey of AMA’s permanent collection, the OAS’s approach to cultural diplomacy, and the acquisition practices of founding director José Gómez Sicre (Cuba, 1916 – USA, 1991) during the Cold War. Gómez Sicre championed artists sympathetic to international trends in contemporary art, with the intention of demonstrating the cosmopolitanism of Latin American and Caribbean artists and while emphasizing freedom of expression in the American republics. Presented in partnership with the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, this exhibition features artists who worked in many of the influential styles of the mid-century, such as Surrealism, Concretism, Art Informel, and Abstract Expressionism – as well as those artists that also experimented with forms and themes drawn from Pre-Columbian civilizations.

Gómez Sicre’s support for international modernism also allied him with U.S. cold warriors, who used freedom of expression as a tool in the cultural and intellectual struggle against the Soviets. As seen in this show, freedom of expression was given a Latin cast through Gómez Sicre’s exhibitions and collecting practices as well as the OAS’s political agenda. The OAS used art as a form of cultural diplomacy with the intention of promoting understanding and cooperation among the Americas, adapting to the political climate of the Cold War, while at the same time championing the international aspirations of Latin American culture. This traveling exhibition is curated by Mark Andrew White, Interim Director and Chief Curator of the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum and was first shown there in October 2013.


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