Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

López Merino begins his article by remarking on the success of Sabogal’s exhibition in Buenos Aires, “where the most discerning critics acknowledged the respect he enjoys in Latin America.” The writer describes the exhibition of prints as a revelation because of the artist’s surprising talent in that discipline, a technique that was hitherto almost unknown. López Merino explains that woodcut printing is a genre that demands great drawing skills, since every line must make sense and must be there for a reason. Sabogal has shown that he is extremely knowledgeable about the technique, having produced prints featuring scenes of the city of Cuzco as well as the local inhabitants. The critic has no intention of promoting any rivalry between the artist’s paintings and his prints, insisting that they are both of equal quality, although the prints excel for their greater simplicity.   

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This is the second article by the journalist and art critic Clodoaldo López Merino (who uses the pseudonym Clodo Aldo) about the exhibition of woodcut prints by José Sabogal, the founder of Peruvian indigenist painting, at the Academia Nacional de Música Alcedo in Lima (1929). Separately, the critic also reviews an exhibition of fans at the Sociedad “Entre Nous”, also in Lima.

 

In addition to his paintings, Sabogal also produced a significant number of woodcut prints, a technique that was perfectly suited to the expressive demands of his work. The importance he attached to this technique was apparent during his trip to Mexico in 1923, when he encouraged Mexican artists to produce woodcut prints as they once had. His own woodcut prints were highly acclaimed at his exhibitions in Montevideo (1928), in Lima (1929), and in the United States—in Florida (1931 and 1934) and New York (1933). His prints were also used as illustrations in important publications, including the front covers of Amauta (Lima, 1926–30), the magazine directed by José Carlos Mariátegui.   

Researcher
Gabriela Germaná Roquez
Team
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru