Curators' Series #6. Friends of London. Artists from Latin America in London from 196X ௿½ 197X

7 Jun 2013 – 3 Aug 2013

David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF)

London, United Kingdom


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An exhibition curated by Pablo Leonn de la Barra with Carmen Julia. An exhibition with works by Diego Barboza, Ulises Carrion, Felipe Ehrenberg, David Lamelas, Leopoldo Maler, Helio Oiticica, Cecilia Vicuna, Beau Geste Press, Artists for Democracy and Signals.

Pablo León de la Barra is the sixth guest curator invited by DRAF to be part of the Curators' Series. Friends of London. Artists from Latin America in London 196X-197X will explore the vivid, but rarely researched, Latin American art scene in London in the 60s and 70s. The title of the exhibition is based on a work by Argentinean artist David Lamelas, 'London Friends' 1974. Lamelas invited a number of friends to be photographed, thereby creating a remarkable image of the London scene at the time. The pictures were taken by a photographer who worked primarily in fashion and, as a result, the subjects took on glamorous poses. The images are at once fashion photography and personal portraits. They include pictures of the artist Marcel Broodthaers and his wife, London gallery owner Nigel Greenwood, curator and writer Lynda Morris (who played the leading character in Lamelas's seminal work 'Film Script (Manipulation of Meaning)' in 1972), and Kamala Di Tella from the Di Tella family, who initiated the Center for Visual Arts of the Instituto Di Tella in Buenos Aires, the foremost avant-garde cultural institution in Latin America during the 1960s.

'Friends of London' at DRAF takes its lead from this work and offers the opportunity to engage with a particular social and artistic scene established in London throughout the 60s and 70s. This exhibition focuses on London as an instrumental destination for artists from Latin America, whose work has previously been examined in the context of their native countries, or in relation to contemporaneous North American works. Through the display of artworks, letters, documents, interviews and publishing projects, the exhibition aims to contextualise the incredibly fertile and symbiotic relationship established between these artists, some political exiles, and their new London environment.

Leaving to one side ideas of nationality and regionalism, this exhibition focuses on London as a place of freedom and experimentation that enabled artists to produce radical works that engaged with issues of participation and collaboration, established new relationships with the public space and fostered art as an effective political tool.

The exhibition is supported by the Mexican Embassy, London.

Sponsored by Corona Beer.


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