VANESSA DAVIDSON: THE NEW LATINAMERCAN ART CURATOR AT THE BLANTON MUSEUM OF ART
The Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, introduced the new curator of Latin American Art. Succeeding Beverly Adams ―who has been selected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) as curator of the same department―, Vanessa Davidson, former curator of Latin American art at the Phoenix Museum of Art for eight years, will be the new person in charge of the curatorship of the Latin American art department of the museum in Texas.
Established as the first North American museum to have a specific position for the curatorship of modern and contemporary Latin American art, the specific collection for this entire sector ―founded in 1963― at the Blanton Museum has more than two thousand artworks. The collection consists of works produced mainly by artists from Latin America iberoamerican countries whose work has delved into all types of discipline: installation, painting, sculpture, audiovisual pieces, photographs and other hybrid formats. The integration of Vanessa Davidson as curator of the department aims to manage and develop the collection, in addition, of course, to guide the research and programming of exhibitions dedicated to Latin American art.
Regarding Davidson future at the institution, the deputy director for curatorial affairs at the Blanton, Carter E. Foster, said: “Vanessa’s wide-ranging knowledge of Latin American art, from modern and contemporary to colonial, will be an asset as she continues to grow the Blanton’s program,”. Davidson holds undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a PhD in 20th Century Latin American Art History with a minor in Spanish Colonial Art from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She also was the Latin American art curator at the Phoenix Art Museum during eight years; and she held research and curatorial positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. “Her curatorial and scholarly experience align very well with the Blanton’s collection, including her focus on Argentine and Brazilian conceptual art, one of many strengths of our Latin American holdings”, Foster added.
Throughout her tenure at the Phoenix Art Museum, Davidson organized thirteen exhibitions dedicated to important artists of the modern and contemporary scene such as Carlos Amorales (Mexico, 1970), Valeska Soares (Brazil, 1957), Paulo Bruscky (Brazil, 1949) , Antonio Berni (Argentina, 1905-1981) and Rufino Tamayo (Mexico, 1899-1991), among others ―all of them, incidentally, are part of the Balton Museum collection. In the same way, she has curated exhibitions of Spanish-American colonial art such as Ave Maria: The Virgin Mary and the Archangels (2018-2019) and Masterpieces of Spanish colonial art from the Phoenix Museum of Art Collection (2015-2016).
Davidson, who expressed her excitement regarding the new position he held, explained: “My aim is to continue to participate in international dialogues about what art from this region is and can be, and also to involve more young scholars in such global conversations.”