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Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Works of art from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean range from ancient cultures to cutting-edge artists of today. Among the highlights are the Glassell Collection of Pre-Columbian Gold and the museum’s growing collection of modern and contemporary art by Latin American and Latino artists.

© Estate of Gonzalo Fonseca
Uruguayan, 1922 - 1997
Columbarium I
Scaffolding wood, nails, strings, and paint

86 3/8 x 38 x 17 3/8 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided by the
2009 Latin American Experience Gala and Auction and
gift of Bernard Chappard in memory of Daniela Chappard

Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Gonzalo Fonseca is one of the founding members of the Taller Torres-García in Uruguay. He was influenced by the lectures he attended in which Joaquín Torres-García spoke of a Constructive Universalism that sought to incorporate the language of Native America and Pre-Hispanic cultures as a means to assert autonomy from the hegemony of European visual modes. Fonseca traveled to Peru and Bolivia to visit archaeological sites, which inspired him to create a series of magnificent ceramic pieces. Spurred by some of his fellow colleagues, Fonseca traveled to the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece in the mid-1950s. As a result, the cyclical themes of life and death and the language of mythology imbued in Greco-Roman and Egyptian symbols is found in the work of this period, exemplified in Columbarium.