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  • ICAA Record ID
    Boletín de TESEO [Agrupación de Artistas y Escritores Uruguayos] / José Cuneo, Bernabé Michelena, Carmelo de Arzadum, Antonio Pena, A. Etchebarne Bidart, Humberto Causa, Carlos Princivalle, Alberto Zum Felde, Justino Zavala Muniz, Emilio Oribe, Enrique Dieste, Juan Parra del Riego, E. Casaravilla Lemos, Eduardo Dieste
    Montevideo, Uruguay : Teseo, 1923
    Book/Pamphlet – Artists’ Statement

    Boletín de Teseo, no 1 (Montevideo, 25 agosto 1923): 4 págs.


The Boletín de TESEO is the newsletter published by the AAEU (Agrupación de Artistas y Escritores Uruguayos), the association of Uruguayan artists and writers whose memorandum of association appears in this Boletín Nº 1, Year 1, August 25, 1923. This memorandum lists the names of the founders and the statutes designed to guide them as they go about promoting an aesthetic renewal based on national guidelines and theoretical principles that keep up with European avant-garde movements. There is also a general directory of the Agrupación TESEO that lists artists and writers in the following categories: Essay; Theater, Architecture; Novel; Poetry; Painting; Sculpture; Drawing; Journalism; Music; Ceramics; Printmaking; and Caricature. 


Founded in 1923, under the direction of the writer Eduardo Dieste (1881–1954), the TESEO group—Agrupación de Artistas y Escritores Uruguayos—was a very influential organization in Montevideo in its day. The director played an extremely important role as a thinker and promoter of ideas about the visual arts in Uruguay in the 1920s. When TESEO was published, it provided a forum for ideas that involved and affirmed theoretical traditions of European thinkers as seen from a contemporary Uruguayan perspective.


The group, led by Dieste, was important because it was a first attempt to provide institutional structure in a cultural field in Montevideo that had yet to be consolidated, and to do so autonomously—that is, separately from the cultural policies of the Uruguayan government. From the very beginning, the Boletín relied on the contributions of draftsmen and woodcut printmakers such as Adolfo Pastor (1898–1983) and Federico Lanau (1891–1929) to bring together the community of local intellectuals with its signature vignettes and illustrations.  


The group’s memorandum of association notes the symbolic meaning of TESEO (Theseus, the mythical king of Athens associated with all founding ceremonies), and explains that, though originally from ancient Greece, Theseus has become a universal symbol. It therefore acknowledges the group’s interest in a “new” and “national art.” The group’s intellectual and political independence—which it maintained for three years, always open to new members—caused some friction with the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Montevideo which, some years later, started publishing its own magazine, called Revista de Arte.


[As complementary reading see, in the ICAA digital archive, the following texts published by TESEO: by Eduardo Dieste “Bernabé Michelena, escultor” (doc. no. 1220780), “El drama de la pintura [TESEO, Discusión estética y ejemplos]” (doc. no. 1217147), “Humberto Causa, otro pintor de la luz” (doc. no. 1221130), “José Cuneo pintor de la luz” (doc. no. 1217703), and “El milagro del prisma [TESEO, Discusión estética y ejemplos]” (doc. no. 1217097). See also the following: “Carta a Rafael Barradas” (doc. no. 1250919); “De la invención en la pintura” (doc. no. 1245854); by the Escuela Taller de Artes Plásticas (ETAP) “Escuela Taller de Artes Plásticas al Ministro de Instrucción Pública [carta institucional en borrador]” (doc. no. 1265434); “Primer Grupo Argentino de Pintores Modernos” (doc. no. 1228165); by Alberto Zum Felde “Programa” (doc. no. 1196932); by C. L. “Teseo. Los Problemas del Arte” (doc. no. 1223765); and by Alberto Lasplaces “Uruguay Olímpico” (doc. no. 1254039)].

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