Activating the Spectator by Reshaping the Aesthetic Field: Op, Kinetic, and Participatory Art in Latin America, 1959–1965

As part of this fall's "In Conversation" series, join us for a live online lecture by Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at Barnard College, in which he will explore the development of research-based artistic practices that fused art with mathematics, science, and technology in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Latin America. The stated goal of many Op and kinetic artists working during those years was to demystify the creative process in favor of an objective investigation of visual phenomena. Alberro will address how and why these experiments evolved into a greater concern with the participation of the art spectator.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Multiplied: Edition MAT and the Transformable Work of Art, 1959–1965. 

Meredith Malone, associate curator at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, and Ignacio M. Sanchez Prado, Jarvis Thurston and Mona Van Duyn Professor in the Humanities, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Latin American Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis, will serve as respondents.

Questions are encouraged and will be answered live.

This program is free, but registration is required.

About the speaker: Alexander Alberro is the author and editor of numerous books, including Abstraction in Reverse: The Reconfigured Spectator in Mid-Twentieth Century Latin American Art (2017); Luis Camnitzer in Conversation with Alexander Alberro (2014); What Is Contemporary Art Today? (2012); John Miller: The Ruin of Exchange (2012); Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings (2009); Art after Conceptual Art (2006); Museum Highlights (2005); Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2003); Recording Conceptual Art (2001); Two-Way Mirror Power (1999); and Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (1999). His writings have also been published in a broad range of journals and exhibition catalogues and translated into numerous languages. He is presently completing a book-length study, The Shape of Contemporary Art, that focuses on the transformation of the infrastructure of contemporary art in the new geography of globalization. He is also the founding editor of the book series “Studies on Latin American Art” at the University of California Press, which commissions publications of art history and cultural practices emerging from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Latin American diaspora in the 20th and 21st centuries.

“In Conversation” is a series of live online talks with artists, art historians, and scholars, exploring the intersections of art, history, and contemporary life. Bring your own questions and insights to these lively discussions from wherever you are.

For more information, email Aliyah Blackburn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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