Portadores de sentido presents a broad range of contemporary art by artists from Latin America and the Caribbean from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC). The work in the exhibition is informed by artistic research that elicits narratives, resources and associations with a number of disciplines. With those disciplines in mind, the exhibition has been organized into four groupings, each one of which borrows methodology or derives inspiration from areas of inquiry beyond aesthetics.
The first grouping, Insertions, concerns ethnography and its theories; the second, Excursions, is an analysis of geography; the third, Concrete Environments, considers the implications of urbanism; and the final group, Mediations, addresses media and mass communication. The exhibition emphasizes the artists’ analytical and sensitive responses to a given environment, and how artworks are experienced as bearers of meaning (portadores de sentido) across time and place. Portadores de sentido presents more than 100 artworks acquired between 1990 and 2015 that are representative of the diversity of artistic concerns emerging in Latin America during that time.
Beyond a common geographical determination, the concept of the artist as conveyor of meaning runs through the five collecting areas of the CPPC. Besides contemporary art, the CPPC’s other four collection areas—modernism, colonial art, traveler art from the 16th to 19th centuries, and ethnographic objects from the Orinoco River Basin—reflect a wide range of research and material from Latin America. The concerns of each of these four other areas find renewed expressions in contemporary artistic practice. From the collection of modernist art, specializing in geometric abstraction, there is an impetus to experiment with forms of artmaking in a perceptual and rational idiom; within the colonial period, there is an emphasis on the sacred and secular uses of art; from the collection of traveler art, there is a focus on the artist as an explorer dedicated to the task of field research and the registration of landscape; and from the Orinoco collection, the consideration of the foundational role of everyday and ceremonial materials in both anthropology and aesthetics.
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros