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  • ICAA Record ID
    1229417
    AUTHOR
    Basso Maglio, Vicente, 1889-
    TITLE
    [El hombre es libre] / V. Basso Maglio
    IN
    Alfar (Montevideo, Uruguay). -- No. 69 (Feb., 1931)
    DESCRIPTION
    ill.
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Journal article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Basso Maglio, Vicente."[El hombre es libre]" Alfar (Montevideo), no. 69 (february, 1931)
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

Vicente Basso Maglio sees “creative freedom” as a constant that lies outside historical time. In his view, it is intrinsically human—a pure concept not bound to questions of style in art, which are to his thinking, vulgar, ornamental, and descriptive. In this text, Basso Maglio attempts to formulate a critique in the field of aesthetics based on philosophical verbosity: he fails to shape a concise discourse, although he seems to struggle to overcome historicism and positivism. Norberto Berdía’s painting—the ostensible topic of the text—is just an excuse to develop a cryptic thesis.

Annotations

In its lyrical and philosophical exaltation, this essay by writer Vicente Basso Maglio (1899–1961) is not unlike other articles of his authorship on the creative process, which is understood as universal human phenomenon inseparable from the notion of “existential freedom.” He attempts to overcome the positivism still operative in his time by proposing critical thinking that nonetheless falls into metaphysics. His stance is anti-formalist, and his defense of the indivisibility of expression and concept means that “language” is for him a means that abolishes the distance between expression and concept rather than an end that formalizes an idea. On those grounds, he defends the drawing medium as a manifestation of the “pure concept” (“pure poetry”) instead of form and color, which is the “verbalization of the object,” language rendered object.

It is not easy to extract these ideas of Basso Maglio’s overly cryptic tangle of philosophical speculations. The author is clearly attempting to define “critical thought” through supposed metaphysical essences in an approach that would not take hold among Uruguayan intellectuals of the forties. There was no room for Basso Maglio’s verbose ramblings in a context marked by Joaquín Torres García’s conceptual precision or by the later teachings of a critic and historian of the stature of Jorge Romero Brest, who influenced a generation of young Uruguayan critics.

Researcher
María Eugenia Grau, Gabriel Peluffo
Location
archivo personal de Gabriel Peluffo