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Latin American Sculptures

Latin American sculpture spans South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. It is remarkably varied, with roots in the many indigenous cultures that inhabited these countries before European colonization.

While historic Latin American sculpture is revered, some of the greatest developments in Latin American sculpture have occurred within the last century. Patrocino Barela, a wood carver, was perhaps the first Mexican artist to receive national recognition in the '40s, paving the way for today's Latin American sculptors. After WWII, artist José Luis Cuevas founded The Breakaway Generation. This movement condemned the formulaic and nationalistic Mexican art tradition in favor of international styles such as Abstract Expressionism. Cuevas' sculptures of oddly shaped human forms, such as "La Giganta," helped carve the path for future experimental Latin American sculptors.

The tradition of Latin American sculpture remains today. Uruguayan artist Pablo Atchugarry is one of the most popular contemporary Latin American sculptors. His work in marble is highly acclaimed and sold at both Christie's and Sotheby's.

Quick Facts

  • Pablo Atchugarry's sculpture "Untitled" sold at Christie's New York in March 2015 for $137,000
  • Though often revered for his paintings, Fernando Botero's bronze sculpture "Head of a Woman" sold at Christie's New York in November 2014 for $185,000
  • While Latin American colonial Baroque painters often imitated European styles, their sculptors created a unique style, emphasizing flattened forms

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