Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    1083381
    TITLE
    [There are no aspects of the prodigy in me...] / Carlos Almaraz
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Other – notes
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Carlos Almaraz. "[There are no aspects of the prodigy in me...]" Unpublished manuscript.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    Pollock, Jackson; Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946
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Synopsis

This document is a short handwritten entry from the journal of Carlos Almaraz. He begins with a discussion of how his art should be a product of daily practice. He then comments that his aim is to achieve a sense of poetry in his work but at a visual level. He praises the poetry of G. Stein [probably Gertrude Stein] and compares its form to Cubist paintings. He would like to see the musical order he sees in Stein’s poems resonate in abstract art. Though not advocating the transformation of one into the other, he calls for utilizing a “sense of music” within the visual arts. He provides examples from filmmaking to show how the visual arts can be made more universal (like music and cinema). Almaraz concludes that modern abstract art lacks a “central idea,” yet acknowledges that Jackson Pollock’s paintings still disturb him with their intrinsic “truth.”

Annotations

Even though Carlos Almaraz (1941–1989) was never a widely published author, he was a dedicated journal writer. This short notebook entry was made in 1966, while he was still living in New York. Written in a style of stream of consciousness, it reflects his disillusionment with the abstract art scene in New York and his attempts to craft his own intellectual framework for achieving a universal art. Almaraz was one of the founding members of Los Four, an artist collective that also included Beto de la Rocha, Judithe Hernandez, Frank Romero, and Gilbert Lujan (Magu). They were one of the most influential groups within Chicano art history and the first to have an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in 1974. In the 1980s, Almaraz was able to attain mainstream recognition and gallery success, which continued beyond his death.

Researcher
Romo
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Credit
© The Carlos Almaraz Estate, 2012