This book is the catalogue for a comprehensive exhibition held at the Newark Museum until may 2010, which will then travel to Fort Worth. It centers on the connections between U.S. and South American artists (from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela)during the first half of the XXth century, a relationship which was initiated with Joachim Torres-Garcia's move to NYC in 1920.
The book is divided into 6 essays, tackling such themes as the dialogue between Torres-Garcia and American art, the need to find a new type of genuine American (North and South) art in the face of the inability of Western culture to cope with the developments marking the XXth century (wars, new technologies...), a new art that will find its roots in common origins, an interesting study of the role of light (with the development of electric light in the big American cities), and a study of the role played by women artists such as Lygia Clark (Brazil), Mariá Freire (Uruguay), Lidy Prati (Argentina), Alice Turnbull Mason (USA), etc.
The book is very well documented and full of high-quality illustrations. A must-have for anyone interested in the growing importance of Latin American art in the history of XXth century art.
For the artist that has not yet been able to travel to experience how abstract art differs in different counties this book is a very good collection of thoughts and styles that can and will expand your thoughts about movement in an abstract way within your work or simply for your next trip to an art show or museum. Books like Constructive Spirit help unite like minded work within one collection for the viewer or artist so that he/she an get the most of different schools of thought and different ways a culture can influence a style.