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Harper Montgomery headshot

Harper Montgomery has been awarded The Dedalus Foundation’s 2020 Senior Fellowship for her book project From Craft to Concept in Latin America, 1977 – 1989.

Harper Montgomery’s From Craft to Concept in Latin America, 1977-1989 will chronicle the presence of craft objects and construction techniques in a number of exhibitions that took place in São Paulo, Lima, Havana, Mexico City, Medellín, and Asunción between 1977 and 1989. Montgomery’s narrative will be focused on regional institutions, including the São Paulo Biennial, the early Havana Biennials, and El Museo del Barro (The Museum of Mud) in Paraguay, laying out a history of entangled events and recording the activities of a mobile cast of artists and critics during a period when the status of craft and conceptualism were of great concern to many in the region. In charting this new history, Mongomery’s book will show how questions around conceptualism and craft coalesced in exhibitions, critical debates, and how works by artists using clay, fabric, and other low-tech materials raised vital questions about collective representation and the parameters of art itself.

Harper Montgomery is an Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art at Hunter College. She has written for The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, and the Brooklyn Rail; and has organized exhibitions on art of the nineteenth-century, the twentieth-century, and the present for the galleries of Hunter College. She is the author of The Mobility of Modernism: Art and Criticism in 1920s Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2017), which won the Arvey Foundation Book Award for distinguished scholarship on Latin American Art, and co-editor of Beyond the Aesthetic and the Anti-Aesthetic (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013). Her current research concerns the ascent of artesanía within contemporary art spaces in Latin America from the 1970s to the late 1980s.