Subject Area

Art History/Criticism/Conservation


With a career spanning seven decades, Peruvian artist Fernando de Szyszlo garnered domestic and international acclaim for his specific of abstract art, which melded together a multitude of source materials, from the techniques and compositional structures of European and American modernism to pre-Columbian indigenous visual and material culture and other Latin American modernists, such as Rufino Tamayo and Joaquín Torres-García. This thesis will focus attention on a specific time period, 1959 to 1973, during which he stridently applied this melding process, in combination with titles that specifically related indigenous subject matter. What that melding or synthesis process and its many complexities produced visually will be the focus of this thesis. To do so, I will examine the ways in which Szyszlo engaged with a multitude of source materials and navigated through discourses and contexts in Peru, Latin American and the United States. This will be achieved through a combination of in-depth visual and formal analysis that engages with the large collection of primary and secondary source literature on Szyszlo and the contexts in which he lived and worked.

Degree Date

Summer 2023

Document Type


Degree Name



Art History


Roberto Conduru

Second Advisor

Anna Lovatt

Third Advisor

Adam Herring

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Tuesday, July 29, 2025