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In 1943, an exhibition consisting of twenty-two Argentinean artists organized by the Argentinean art critic Jorge Romero Brest and sponsored by the Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Argentina [National Commission of Fine Arts of Argentina] took place at the headquarters of the Sociedad Amigos del Arte de Montevideo [Montevideo Friends of the Arts Society].


At the same time, as the Asociación Estímulo de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires was presenting the exhibition Arte Argentino del pasado y del presente at the Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes de Montevideo [National Fine Arts Commission of Montevideo], Jorge Romero Brest, with the support of the National Commission of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires was also presenting in Montevideo Veintidós pintores argentinos contemporáneos, an exhibition taking place at the headquarters of the Sociedad Amigos del Arte de Montevideo. Both exhibitions had selected artists and works that were very different, which to the Argentinean art critic was a sort of broaden continuation of the exhibition presented by the Primer Grupo Argentino de Pintores Modernos in Montevideo in 1931. Several of the artists that participated in that exhibition were also included in the exhibition organized by Romero Brest with added figures such Antonio Berni, Juan Castagnino, Juan Del Prete, Ramón Gómez Cornet y Emilio Petorutti. 


The proposed critique and historiography by Romero Brest distances itself from previous exhibitions and of those which were simultaneously held in Montevideo on Argentinean art of the past and of the present, as he demonstrated with the use of the term “contemporary” to define the selected artists. In a way, the title was ahead of its time, as the “contemporary” notion would be introduced a few years later within the new avant-garde spirit of the post war period at the end of World War II and during the 1950s.

Gabriel Peluffo Linari
Archivo Museo Blanes. Montevideo, Uruguay