Almost every art historian, in coming face-to-face with an artwork they have previously seen only in reproduction, has had the startling realization that the physical piece differs significantly from what they had imagined. I distinctly remember having this experience when I first saw Planos em superfície modulada no. 1, a white monochromatic painting by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark from 1957. In 2001, during a visit to the São Paulo collector Adolpho Leirner's apartment, I noticed the painting on the wall, which I had only ever seen in reproduction (Figure 1). As I slowly approached, and the composition came into focus, I realized that the five black lines dissecting...
The Reality of (Photographs of) Abstraction
Aleca Le Blanc—is an assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Riverside. She is a scholar of modernism, specializing in Latin American abstraction and architecture, and has published extensively on Brazilian visual culture. She co-authored Making Art Concrete: Works from Argentina and Brazil in the Colección de Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Research Institute, 2017).
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Aleca Le Blanc; The Reality of (Photographs of) Abstraction. Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture 1 October 2019; 1 (4): 3–11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/lavc.2019.140002
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