Exhibition view, The Avant-garde Networks of Amauta: Argentina, Mexico, and Peru in the 1920s, 2019.
Without doubt, the Peruvian journal Amauta (1926–1930), founded and directed by José Carlos Mariátegui (Moquegua, Peru, 1894 – Lima, Peru, 1930), was one of the most influential publications in twentieth-century art. Conceived as a platform for the core debates on modernity, and in contrast to other avant-garde publications, Amauta was not the expression of one group, nor did it seek to impose one sole aesthetic or political programme. Rather, it aspired to become a medium with which to explore and discuss different movements of social transformation. Its broad network of agents and correspondents in Latin America and Europe helped to cultivate the publication, with a sizeable print run of between three and four thousand copies, and shape its substantial international impact. It is this open and diverse approach that has enabled the present exhibition — in essence limited to one periodical — to constitute a panoramic survey of Latin American avant-garde movements.
Featuring over 250 works, this show, through the invaluable collaboration of the José Carlos Mariátegui Archive, brings together not only those reproduced in Amauta but also a wide-ranging selection inspired by the exchanges that took place on the pages of the journal; works which are largely contemporary to the publication and span different mediums and formats — from painting, drawing, sculpture and photography to popular art and documentation. The artists represented include Ramón Alva de la Canal and Diego Rivera (Mexico); Camilo Blas, Martín Chambi, Julia Codesido, Elena Izcue, César Moro and José Sabogal (Peru); Norah Borges, Emilio Pettoruti and Alejandro Xul Solar (Argentina); Carlos Mérida (Guatemala); and Tina Modotti (Italy), to mention but a few.