Curator plugging Latin American art into the global artworld
Though de la Barra maintains his role as Latin American curator at large for the Guggenheim, he is now based in Rio de Janeiro, as curator at the spaceshiplike Oscar Niemeyer-designed Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói. Brazilian museums are currently under attack – de la Barra was one of many arts professionals who signed an open letter expressing concern about public and political pressure on art-institution programming coming from the country’s increasingly vocal right – but his influence spreads far beyond his day job(s). He was appointed adviser to the inaugural ‘Art Basel Cities’ in Buenos Aires this year and sat on the juries of the Nasher Prize and the SESC_Videobrasil awards. There were outside curatorial jobs too: not least overseeing Carlos Amorales’s exhibition for the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, a show of younger queer art at Despina, Rio, and the ‘Referentes’ section (with Ericka Flórez) at the ArtBO fair in October last year.