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Making the Americas Modern: Hemispheric Art 1910-1960 Review by Jennifer King

Edward J. Sullivan
Laurence King Publishing
361–373 City Road
London EC1V 1LR
United Kingdom
t +44 (0)20 7841 6900

I have always been a big fan of art; I have many fond memories of wandering slowly through various art museums and exploring the exhibits as they came to our city. As my children get older, and desire more and more to create, I enjoy giving them the opportunity to see art for themselves and learn about those time periods and artists who were so inspired and inspire us!

Making the Americas Modern, Hemispheric Art, 1910-1960 is a wonderful introduction and introduction to to art specifically from the Americas. Maybe you have considered the history of hemispheric art, but I certainly never did until this book came along.

What an amazing way to expand your mind as you learn about the symbolism of the Americas. I thoroughly enjoyed reading story after story of the histories found within art, in its many forms. Beginning with a lesser known piece of art by Marco Tobon Mejia, we not only see a wonderful photo of the piece but also details that show the historic as well as psychological details that perhaps we would have missed if not for this book.

We travel the Americas in the pages of this book exploring artists and artistic pieces. Many of the artists and pieces within the pages of this book were quite new to me; there was a sense of familiarity by the end however. Every artist, every piece has a story woven about it that truly draws you in.

There are landscapes and topographies, volcanoes and cityscapes. What an opportunity to explore some of those Canadian artists or a most breathtaking artist from Uruguay, Jose Cuneo. We see cities developing because of immigration, we see the benefits and changes brought about by transportation opportunities as they expanded.

We explore blackness; sculptors and architects as well as painters, here we learn about the meanings and difficulties that have been associated with blackness, beginning in the 1920’s. Some of the artists are Brazilian, others in Havana or the Caribbean. It is here we learn about geometric abstraction; often these are full of color and you can just feel the life in the images that have been created.

We walk through history, we explore a bit of philosophy and travel geographically as we are stretched to see in so many amazing pieces of art the struggles, the anxiety, opportunities and the vision of some of these artists. This is one of those books that really makes you realize how much more there is to art if we simply slow down and take the time to really see it and hear it speak to us. There are many lessons we can learn from artists like Tina Modotti and Roberto Matta. To be willing to expand our minds and consider another perspective.

-Product review by Jennifer King The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018