Featured Latin American artists in contemporary art

Featured Latin American artists in contemporary art

Contemporary art in Latin America is characterized by the combination of cultures and races that artists have been able to capture in their works. In this article we share with you the most outstanding artists from Latin America in this type of art.

Contemporary art is defined as a set of artistic manifestations that develops from the 20th century onwards. The definition for this type of art depends largely on the era, that is, contemporary art will always be 'contemporary' for those that coexist in time with the works, however, there are criteria that determine the moment from which artistic expressions can be considered contemporary. Discover detailed information in our article What is contemporary art?

To better understand contemporary art, we must travel in time and analyze the various stages that make it up:

Starting with the stage of informalism, which includes the abstract trends that increased in Europe after the Second World War and where artistic currents such as material painting, tachism, art brut, among others, are distinguished. The second stage takes us to the 20th century, the era of pop art, where popular culture images, such as advertisements, comic books, cinema images, among others, were used to transmit messages generally loaded with irony. Finally, we come to deconstruction and postmodernity, where the main characteristic is that art seeks to be self-referential rather than a reflection of society, that is, it has no intention of doing social work.

The contemporary art that distinguishes the Latin American artists in this article is located in the second stage, in the era of pop art, which emerged at the end of the 1950s in England, in the 60s in the United States and extended until the decade of the 80s. In 19th century Latin America, art was focused merely on the reproduction of portrait and landscape works, but from the beginning of the 20th century artists began to use art as a tool of protest, demonstration and revolution, since the period from the beginning of the 60s to the end of the 80s was marked by authoritarian regimes, extreme inequality, violence, social movements and repression of the population.

The main artistic movements that influenced the works of Latin American artists were initially impressionism and post-impressionism, for example, Paul Gaugin was a source of inspiration for Mexican muralists, including Diego Rivera. Later, Latin American artists were inspired by surrealism. The purely plastic discourse was left behind with the avant-garde, which took art with a critical and social discourse, assures the Colombian digital and printed media EXCLAMA, whose focus is contemporary visual communication.

At the end of World War II, artists from Argentina and Brazil such as Cándido Portinari, Carmelo Arden Quin and Joaquín Torres García made great contributions to abstract art. Contemporary artists from Latin America are distinguished mainly by their exhaustive techniques and interdisciplinary works, characterizing Latin American contemporary art as an art with great focus, ambition and with a mix of unique techniques and skills.

Who are the most prominent Latin American artists in contemporary art?
Rafael Parra-Toro
Also known as Parratoro, he is a Venezuelan visual artist whose work is characterized by kineticism, also called kinetic art.

Parratoro stands out from other artists thanks to the play of colors and shapes with movement that exists in his works, leading him to be the author of interactive works. His art is based primarily on mathematics and color vibration through the use of moiré or visual interference, a geometric distortion effect that arises from the interaction of patterns.

Zilia Sanchez
An artist originally from Cuba who joined other artists who expressed their radicalism through plastic languages in the period between the 60s and 80s. After moving to Puerto Rico in 1972, she began creating a series of paintings where she experimented with figurative elements of the female body and a formal language of abstraction.

The warmth and eroticism of the silhouettes of her canvases, which she named with suggestive phrases such as Erotic Topology, broke with the cold and impersonal approach associated with abstraction in Latin America […] Her works have always been attentive to the female experience, honoring the lives and bodies of women, including hers, explains the Colombian digital and print media EXCLAMA.

Carlos Vivar
The works on sand and with colors mixed in different types of textures by this Mexican artist reflect a combination labeled as strange of passion, sweetness, fiction and symbolism. Despite this, his works are captivating and mature with a special touch. To this day, Carlos Vivar is one of the most recognized Mexican painters and sculptors of contemporary art.

Feliza Bursztyn
This artist born in Colombia challenged the traditional methods of teaching sculpture in her country, relying on and giving new meanings to unconventional materials for the creation of works such as scrap metal, car remains, and industrial waste materials. Her works are distinguished by being animated works with movement, sound and interaction.

Feliza is recognized for being an artist with a conceptual and powerful material outlook, a woman who lived outside conventional social terms, which she reflected in her creations that used to scandalize society, as in 1974 with her work “Las Camas” where she put on stage machines covered by colored fabrics, thanks to the vibrating and sound effect, the work alluded to a couple in a sexual context. In 1980, under the application of the Colombian Security Statute, the artist was accused and persecuted by the army, forcing her to go into exile in Mexico and then in Paris until her death in 1982.

Roberto Rivera
A Salvadoran artist who expresses his inner world through his works focused on geometry, vibrant colors and abstract figures. According to the experts at the contemporary art gallery Aura Galerías, Roberto's creations “…represent his world of inner sensitivity and his influences over the years.”

Beatriz Gonzalez
The first works of this talented Colombian artist highlighted a message of reflection on how the history of art reaches South American countries through low-cost reproductions that after their appropriation became icons, however, as time passed, Beatriz's works They began to transform into works with harsh and direct criticism of the magnates of Colombian history.

The allusion to the portraits of respectable families in the social section, the images of the red chronicles, popular prints and popular furniture. González explores people's taste and exposes, with irony, their reality, explain the experts of the Colombian digital and printed media EXCLAMA.

The list of contemporary art artists who have left their mark on the history of art in Latin America is extensive and talking about the great talents that have emerged from our nations requires a much broader article than this one. Some names that we can highlight are Didier Mayés from Mexico, Teresa Burga from Peru, Sonia Pastrana from Mexico, Lourdes Grobet also from Mexico, among many other artists who have marked the history of art and have inspired other artists and new generations.

And you, will you be one of the new artists who will leave their mark on the history of art in Latin America? Discover more information about the world of art in our article What are the liberal arts?