The exhibition is a collection of geometric abstract art from Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, covering a sense of change at the time - abstract art was seen as the future. Although small, there are some truly stunning pieces, and much of the work has never been shown in the UK before.
The art really challenges your perceptions of what you see - playing with scale, light, colour and creating optical illusions. Although everything you're looking at is still, it makes you feel as if it is moving.
Wandering around, I felt really inspired by the processes and techniques that you can see, and in awe of the results! In a lot of the pieces, lines that appear random at a glance, actually have order to them on closer inspection. Tomás Maldonado'sComposition 208 is a simple combination of colours alternating between two levels for the stripes - everything lines up.
The simplicity of the art is incredible - everything seems structured and connected. It's a wealth of inspiration for our own work and graphics - seeing the difference that can be achieved by rotating a set of the same shapes along the same angle, using muted colours or monochrome palettes with a sudden burst of colour, the use of negative space to create something powerful, angles of lines to create dimensions. Alfredo Hlito's Chromatic Rhythms III, a black and white grid with blocks of colour and lines of varying thicknesses made me think of a piece of music. Carlos Cruz Diez's Double Transparency layers stripes and transparent sections, creating interesting crossovers where shapes overlap. Geraldo de Barros's Diagonal Function is so striking - but is only made up of a few different shapes.
Two pieces in the collection really stand out - one so much so that we didn't notice anything else in the gallery for quite a while as we were so transfixed by it, and the other has a space of its own. Jésus Soto's Nylon Cube, a grid of painted nylon strings, is mesmerising. Each string seemed to be painted to a different length - when you look through the cube, you see a lighter colour and as you walk around, it feels like it is shimmering.
Carlos Cruz Diez's Physichromie no.500 changes depending on your viewpoint. It seems to be a background of painted stripes that change colour, again with varying lengths, with strips of acrylic in between. The effect from a distance, reminding me of a cityscape, is completely different when viewed close-up.
You can see a taster of the work on the Royal Academy site - but to really experience the effect, make sure you take a trip to the Academy this summer!