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Le LL. EE. l’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia e l’Osservatore italiano all’OSA Simone Turchetta con il Segretario Generale dell’OSA S.E. Luis Almagro, il Presidente di turno del Consiglio Permanente dell’OSA – l’Ambasciatore di Argentina S.E. Daniel Raimondi e l’Ambasciatore James Lambert, Segretario per gli Affari Emisferici dell’OSA

(Washington, February 23, 2024) Yesterday evening, the exhibition Across the Great Atlantic: Art of the Italian Diaspora in the Americas of the 20th Century opened at the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington. The exhibition features works by artists of Italian origin in the Americas from the permanent collections of the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The inauguration, attended by representatives of the cultural world and the diplomatic community, included the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, the Italian Observer to the OAS, Simone Turchetta, the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, the current Chair of the Permanent Council of the OAS – Ambassador of Argentina Daniel Raimondi – and representatives of the IDB.

The exhibition, featuring 79 works by 51 artists from 16 countries in the Americas and two works by Italian artists, was organized by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the OAS and the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington, in collaboration with the Art Museum of the Americas of the OAS and the Inter-American Development Bank. The initiative is part of a series of exhibitions organized by the Art Museum of the Americas that examines the impact of migration flows on the art of the region.

“We are pleased that the Permanent Mission of Italy to the OAS and the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington have initiated this project, which demonstrates the profound impact of Italian emigration on contemporary art in the Americas. It is a tangible sign of the exceptional historical, cultural, and sociological legacy of our emigration in the region, a bond that deeply unites Italy with the American continent,” Ambassador Zappia stated.

The exhibition examines the influence that migration from Italy from the mid-19th century to the 1940s has had on American art. By exploring the dynamics of the intersection between Italian cultural heritage and American artistic expression, the exhibition highlights the profound impact that American artists of Italian origin have had on the development of unique artistic identities and guides visitors on a journey through the various aesthetic expressions that have characterized the region, from cubism to surrealism, from abstract expressionism to conceptual art.

The migratory flow to the Americas, which began in the 19th century from various European countries and especially from Italy, has led to significant cultural exchanges since the early years of the 20th century. In this context, artists of Italian origin have played a fundamental role in shaping visual arts in the Americas and instilling in local society a new idea of modernity, which then contributed to the artistic boom of Latin America in the 1950s and 1960s.

Rather than focusing on works dedicated to the theme of migration, the exhibition focuses on the result of multigenerational assimilation processes and the constant dialogue between Italy and the Americas as a whole. The diversity of cultures and their combination across the Western Hemisphere is evident in the selected works, which span from 1937 to the early 21st century and delve into various themes such as abstraction, geometry, figuration, and the representation of places and spaces.

Across the Great Atlantic celebrates the complex narrative woven by authors of extraordinary talent, offering a fresco that transcends borders to capture the essence of a truly global artistic heritage with Italian roots.

Images of the exhibited works are available here: Click here