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Libertad de Expresión:
The Art Museum of the Americas and Cold War Politics

Exhibition and Symposium

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art - University of Oklahoma

October 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014

During the Cold War, the Organization of American States, formerly the Pan American Union, actively promoted artists from Latin America and the Caribbean that demonstrated affiliation with influential modernist styles such as Constructivism, Surrealism, Art Informel and Abstract Expressionism. José Gómez-Sicre, the Visual Arts Specialist of the OAS, exhibited artists sympathetic to international trends in contemporary art, with the intention of demonstrating the cosmopolitanism of Latin artists and emphasizing freedom of expression in the American republics. Libertad de Expresión examines how the both the OAS and its cultural institution, the Art Museum of the Americas, advanced Latin American art and democratic values during the Cold War. Ironically, Gómez-Sicre’s support for freedom of expression did not include artists of a socialist or communist bent. The exhibition features more than 60 artists, including Joaquín Torres-García, Roberto Matta and Jesús Rafael Soto.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a symposium that will explore the role that freedom of expression has played in Latin American and Caribbean culture, journalism, and politics from the post-World War II to the present and will feature speakers from a variety of disciplines.