The Sounds of Pop América: Tune in to exhibition Spotify playlist

The exhibition Pop America, 1965-1975 on view at The Block Museum of Art from September 21, 2019 to December 8, 2019 is is the first exhibition to unify Latin American and Latinx expressions of Pop and explore how artists working across the hemisphere embraced its bold and colorful imagery, references to mass culture, and representations of everyday objects, signs, and symbols.

The exhibition is accompanied by a playlist of songs from the decade, compiled by guest curator and Duke Professor Esther Gabara along with Natalia de la Rosa, Daniel Escoto and Marcelo Noah. Guests can listen in as the sounds of the 1960s Tropicália pop music movement in the museum lobby, or at home on Spotify.


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From the Exhibition

Rubens Gerchman, Tropicália ou panis et circencis (Tropical or Bread and Circuses), 1968. Album cover (front shown only), original pressing, 12.59 x 12.59 inches (32 x 32 cm). Collection of Marcelo Noah and Marina Bedran © Rubens Gerchman Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Image courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

Brazilian artist Rubens Gerchman (1942-2008) invented Lindonéia, “the Mona Lisa of the Slum,” as a symbol of working class women struggling to survive on the margins of Rio de Janeiro. Her image was so evocative that it inspired Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso (b. 1942) to write a song about the fictional woman for the exploding Tropicália music movement he founded in 1968 with Gilberto Gil. The musicians gained national fame for their combination of Brazilian popular music, rock, and various forms of counterculture, what was called “cultura marginal” in Portuguese. Gerchman’s multiple versions of Lindonéia in collage, print, and paint, accompanied by the vast popularity of the Tropicalist song, meant that the semblance of this imaginary woman reached almost the entire continent.

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