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In the framework of celebrations marking the first century of Uruguayan Independence (1930- 1931), the Comisión Nacional del Centenario favored an exhibition consisting of modern Argentinean artists from Buenos Aires.
The Asociación Amigos del Arte, Primera Exposición de Pintores Modernos [Friends of Art, First Exhibition of Modern Artists] organized an exhibition in Buenos Aires in commemoration of the 1926 visit by the famous Italian futurist artist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Although it was, in fact, an initiative by the group of Martín Fierro that had failed in the attempt of bringing him the previous year. Two years later, however, the association would open at its headquarters the Primer Salón de Pintura Moderna Argentina [The First Modern Argentinean Hall] bringing together Horacio Butler, Héctor Basaldúa, Aquiles Badi, Lino Enea Spilimbergo y Antonio Berni. After which, several halls of modern Argentinean sculptors and artists are actualized. Finally, in 1931 the group Primer Grupo Argentino de Pintores Modernos is created for the purpose of installing the exhibition in Montevideo.
Though not much is known on the criteria for the selection of artists and works, what drew attention was the notable absence of the most popular artist among them, Emilio Petorutti, though he was represented by one of his distinct students, Dora Cifone, with a work reminiscent of the Italian Novecento [Italian movement founded in 1922 with fascist rhetoric]. The presence and organization by Alfredo Guttero in the Salones de Pintores Modernos should be taken into account, an antecedent that led to the supposition of his influence in the selection of the Primer Grupo Argentino de Pintores Modernos.
The interest of this exhibition in Uruguay lied in its unprecedented character. The variety of styles, within a “magical” neo-realism the exhibition presented was in complete contrast with the stylistic uniformity of the so-called “Montevideo School” or “Planismo School of Art”. A pictorial art movement from Uruguay developed in the Uruguayan capital in the 1920s. Which the Primer Grupo Argentino de Pintores Modernos precisely presented in its exhibition and was similar to “a restoration” of what had been done in the first exhibition of the Montevideo School in Buenos Aires. This exhibition had been sponsored in July 1927 by the group TESEO (Agrupación de Artistas y Escritores Uruguayos [Association of Uruguayan Artists and Writers]) at the Asociación Amigos del Arte of Buenos Aires.