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In her art column, Carlota Carvallo reviews and discusses several exhibitions that opened in Lima in late 1965. She mentions the exhibitions of works by two sculptors, Alberto Guzmán and Marina Núñez del Prado, then goes on to talk about three other exhibitions “that have succeeded in sparking conversation and provoking a heated debate.” The first of these is Mimuy, the installation created by the architecture students Mario Acha, Miguel Malatesta, and Efraín Montero at the IAC (Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo) in Lima. Carvallo notes that the installation’s proximity to the room where works by Marina Núñez are displayed was seen by many as an “irreverent joke;” in fact, according to Carvallo, the installation’s loose assembly of techniques and materials “borders on pornography” at times. The reviewer nonetheless defends Mimuy, explaining that similar kinds of art can be seen in Europe and the United States, and suggesting that the installation should be interpreted more in the spirit of “a protest or rebellion against contemporary reality and outdated forms of art.” She also briefly reviews Luis Arias Vera’s exhibition at the Cultura y Libertad gallery and the solo experimental exhibition of works by Gloria Gómez Sánchez at the Solisol gallery. Carvallo admits that, when she was looking at the latter’s work, she felt as though she was in the presence of a true avant-garde.


In late 1965 in Lima three exhibitions opened that are now considered to be the earliest harbingers of installations and happenings in Peru. They were Mimuy, an installation by Mario Acha (the son of the critic Juan Acha), Efraín Montero, and Miguel Malatesta; Yllomomo by Gloria Gómez Sánchez; and Escenografía para un folklore urbano by Luis Arias Vera. Juan Acha promoted these experimental projects in his column in El Comercio, the influential Lima newspaper. Mimuy filled one of the most prestigious gallery spaces in the city with recycled objects. Arias Vera, at the Cultura y Libertad gallery, presented some paintings and a small installation. His event opened with a happening in which a thief stole an attendee’s purse but which the artist managed to retrieve. At the Solisol gallery, Gómez Sánchez presented a series of ephemeral works consisting of framed waste material and large dolls (“muñecones”) made of paper. The works at all these exhibitions clearly broke with traditional precedent in Peruvian art and provoked a backlash from the conservative press and critics. The reviewer’s open minded, unprejudiced attitude is surprising; Carvallo, an artist, writer, composer, and promoter of traditional art, who came up through the indigenist painting movement that began in the 1920s, defended these exhibitions.


[For additional information, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: by Juan Acha “Próximas exposiciones: ‘Ambientaciones’ y Muñecones” (doc. no. 1142445), “La “ambientación’ del I.A.C.” (doc. no. 1142493), and “Exagerado sentido realista: Exposición de Luis Arias Vera” (doc. no. 1142510); by Carlos Rodríguez S. “Mimuy” (doc. no. 1142462); and by Luis Antonio Meza “Nuevo ambiente en el I.A.C.” (doc. no. 1142478)].

Daniel Contreras Medina
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru
Courtesy of the archives of Estuardo Nuñez Hague, Lima, Peru.