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The researcher Irma Arestizábal comments on the placement of Argentinean avant-garde art, (always at the margin) in relationship to the hegemonic art centers. She writes based on a selection of works of Argentinean artists that appear in Venezuelan collections, focusing on the exhibition ¿Fuera del centro? (Caracas: Museo de Bellas Artes, 1995). In essence, she questions the concept arising among colonized peoples that relegates Argentinean art to the “periphery.” Her proposal starts from the idea that by now, there is no single art center that legitimates the art from other sources; surely, we are all living in a newly plural cultural world. Arestizábal lists the artists, groups, works and historic moments that left their mark on twentieth-century Argentinean art.


This text by the Argentinean art researcher, critic and curator Irma Arestizábal (1940?2009) hypothesizes a change in the concept of “Argentinean art” during the twentieth century, as if such art had ever been “peripheral and marginal.” She proposes this focus in the late twentieth century in a text that makes an important contribution to the reading of Latin American art as of the twenty-first century. Her proposal arises from her questions about biased (or colonized) readings of this art, based on elements of art discussions in Latin America referring to “globalization” and “cultural hybridization,” urgent topics at the time when Arestizábal was writing her text. The curator also offers a rich background that transcends the visual arts, and, alongside the work of visual artists, discusses that of Argentinean writers, actors and musicians. As she sees it, all these figures were prominent in a movement whose roots could be traced back to Argentina’s cultural, economic and sociopolitical problems. When the writer expands on the details, she connects these events to the appearance of art movements and centers, along with the activities of Latin American biennials and Salons, relating all this to European influences and heritage.

Milagros González
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Biblioteca Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Plaza de Los Museos, Parque los Caobos, Caracas 1010, República Bolivariana de Venezuela