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This article describes and analyzes the role of the “recipient” of the various messages expressed by the visual arts. At the end of the dictatorship period (1973–85), Uruguayan artists once again sought to come to grips with the question of their relationship with the audience: but which audience? They were also discussing the possibility of developing new audiences as conditions seemed to improve in Uruguay. In addition to suggesting a theory about the reception of art, the article lists some of the great artists in history, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh, and mentions the art critic Herbert Read.


This article enthusiastically champions the role of the “recipient” of the message transmitted by the visual arts, who is increasingly expected to play a more active, creative role in the process. The article hopes that the viewing public will engage in a genuine intellectual exercise that could lead to a variety of possible readings, instead of limiting the reception to a timid search for the artist’s intentions. The author of the article bases his thinking on the ideas of the theorist Herbert Read (1893–1968), who claims that viewers should “set their imagination free” when looking at current art. New theories concerning reception (from Umberto Eco to Hans-Robert Jauss) tended to view art as “open,” and the Club de Grabado de Montevideo opened up to the ideas and started passing them on to its members in their publications in the late 1970s. This sort of activity was not merely an intellectual exercise for the CGM; it had been an integral part of the Club’s historical and social goals ever since it was founded. Prints are therefore seen as a “communication of subjectivities” resulting from a “live” conception of culture. This approach means abandoning any form of art that is created purely for the enjoyment of the elite, and instead advocating, in both strategic and tactical terms, a reciprocal process between creators and audiences.


[As complementary reading see, in the ICAA digital archive, the following articles published by the Club de Grabado de Montevideo: “Concurso de grabado para edición” (doc. no. 863481); “13 años de actividad de Club de Grabado de Montevideo” (doc. no. 1183571); “El arte correo en el Uruguay” (doc. no. 1191850); “Boletín N° 7 Club de Grabado de Montevideo” (doc. no. 1182833); “Club de Grabado compra su casa” (doc. no. 1192649); “Club de Grabado de Montevideo 22 Aniversario 1953 - Agosto 1975” (doc. no. 1183514); “Club de Grabado de Montevideo a la población de Montevideo” (doc. no. 1183124); “Cuando el Tercer Mundo se mira a sí mismo. II Bienal de La Habana” (doc. no. 1184459); “De los grabados de ayer a las ediciones actuales” (doc. no. 1191787); “Definiciones / Uno” (doc. no. 1189065); “Entrevista a Luis Mazzey” (doc. no. 1186991); “Entrevista a Óscar Ferrando” (doc. no. 1186747); “Entrevista a Óscar Ferrando [segunda parte]” (doc. no. 1186802); “Fundamentos a propósito de su 22 aniversario” (doc. no. 1182640); “Mini Grabado Internacional de Cadaqués. España” (doc. no. 1191135); “Nuestra institución” (doc. no. 1182010); “Los nuevos movimientos de las artes” (doc. no. 1182868); “Opiniones (I)” (doc. no. 1185411); “Palabras de clausura para un año de apertura” (doc. no. 1191167); “Referencias sobre identidad, cultura y arte en Latinoamérica” (doc. no. 1183641); “Reflexiones en torno a la supuesta crisis de las artes plásticas” (doc. no. 1185539); and “Sobre el papel de la crítica” (doc. no. 1187071)]. 

María Eugenia Grau, Gabriel Peluffo
Courtesy of Oscar Ferrando acting as ex-secretary general.
Archivo del Museo Juan Manuel Blanes