Inter-American relations and the Cuban Revolution (1960s)

The Cold War in Latin America: Art and Politics

CHAPTER 3: Inter-American relations and the Cuban Revolution (1960s)


In the late 1950s, Latin America entered a period of economic crisis. Social struggles aligned with the ideological conflict of the Cold War, pitting the democracies of the Western world against the threat of Communism. After the Cuban Revolution, leftist guerrilla groups began to emerge throughout the region. Initially, the ideals of the Cuban Revolution were a beacon for Latin American intellectuals who, as part of the so-called literary boom, became influential international figures. To the north, the Kennedy administration promoted a policy called the Alliance for Progress as a way to expand US influence and encourage economic development in Latin America. Art became an important aspect of this project, which fostered an increase in cultural exchanges along a north-south axis. Artists were invited to visit the United States with Guggenheim Fellowships, and a few museums, including the Blanton, began to collect and exhibit the art of Latin America.

Ary Brizzi’s elegant abstraction made him a favorite artist to include in Argentine exhibitions traveling to the United States.

Gonzalo Fonseca moved to New York in 1958 after being awarded a Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

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