||<p>This dissertation investigates how non-academic agents (i.e. artists, curators,
and institutions) helped construct the current canon of Latin American art. It takes
as case studies key exhibitions held in Brazil in order to examine how the central
concepts of anthropophagy, geometric abstraction, and the political came to characterize
the art of the region. Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews, this
work traces a local genealogy, thus offering a different starting point for understanding
the Latin American art canon that has been recently institutionalized in such places
as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as part of the global turn in art history.</p><p>Citing
their different language and colonial history, Brazilian artists and critics have
tended to view their art production as distinct from that of the rest of the continent.
This dissertation, by contrast, recognizes Brazil as a fundamental player in the shaping
of both a Latin American cultural identity and an expanded notion of the Americas.
This expansion of Latin American art influences how artists represent themselves and
how such production is actively being inserted into collections around the world.</p>