Radical Geometry

Fifty years of art produced across Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil, including examples from the School of the South and the Arte Madí.

The exhibition spans a dynamic period in South American art, charting several distinct movements that emerged across the continent between the 1930s and 70s.

Documenting the early artistic revolutions in the Río de la Plata region, it begins with Uruguayan-born Joaquín Torres García's 'School of the South', which drew its inspiration from indigenous American influences.

During the following decade a group of artists from Buenos Aires – including Carmelo Arden Quin, Tomás Maldonado and Gyula Kosice – founded their own artistic movements; Arte Madí and Arte Concreto-Invención. These set out to challenge the customs and confines that defined traditional practice, and work of this period often incorporates a variety of different art forms. One pertinent example is, Juan Melé’s, Irregular Frame No. 2, on display here.

The exhibition also explores the boundary-breaking work that came out of Brazil in the 1950s-60s, particularly the painting and sculpture produced in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Artists featured include Geraldo de Barros, Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark,  who shared an ambition to remove art from the walls of galleries and place it in the hands of the viewer.

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Artists working in Caracas, Venezuela in the 1970s – such as Jesús Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez – began to lean towards kinetic forms of art, utilising optical illusion to respond to the lights of the tropics. Soto’s Physichromie No. 500, for example, consists of hued frames which trap the light in such a way that it changes colour with the movement of the visitor.


Venue details

Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House, Piccadilly London W1J 0BD 020 7300 8000 www.royalacademy.org.uk

Entry details

£9 with National Art Pass (standard entry £10)

Mon – Thu, Sat – Sun, 10am – 6pm
Fri, 10am – 10pm

Closed 23 Jun, 24 – 26 Dec