Super squares

APR supersquareBeyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after Modernism
Edited by Antonio Sergio Bessa
2014, Fordham University Press
137 pages, paperback, plates


STUDENTS of Latin American art and architecttiure would do well to pay careful attention to this slim but sharp volume bringing together essays on the meaning and legacy of modernism in the region. As William Morrish points out in his Foreword, “the application of North American urban terms through the lens of the Latin American city experience has produced a radically different result”. What this has meant, he says, is that while the words and drawings often look familiar in the effort to develop a modern, urban way of living and working, what was being built and designed stemmed from a radically different set of social constructions. For that reason the shiny, heroic visions and utopian ideals that shaped the modernist era elsewhere have fashioned much more complex, ambivalent legacies in a region characterised by inequalities of every kind.