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In this article, a New York art critic whose signature is the initials H. R. discusses the first version of Uruguayan artist Luis Camnitzer’s work Leftovers on exhibition in a new gallery in Manhattan. The work consists of a neat arrangement of boxes wrapped in bloody gauze. In his reflections, the reviewer bears in mind that the work is exhibited in a space that had once housed a fabric store—not an insignificant fact since the installation is akin, in a sense, to a warehouse with dozens of boxes wrapped in medical bandages stained with red ink to suggest blood. The title makes reference to traces of political violence and of war—both of which would have been identified at the time with bloody repression of street demonstrations in a number of Latin American countries and, mostly, with the Vietnam War (1965–75).


German-born artist Luis Camnitzer (b. 1937) studied in Uruguay before moving to the United States where he has lived since 1964. A professor of art concerned with the sociopolitical issues facing Uruguay in particular and Latin America as a whole, he contributed to the Montevideo-based weekly Marcha—which allowed him to convey information on and opinions about what was happening in the art scene in the United States and elsewhere. For many years, Camnitzer ran a printmaking residence in Valdottavo, Italy, during summers in Europe, which was visited by artists from an array of backgrounds. Camnitzer reconstructed the work Leftovers for a 2004 retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London, although due to spatial consideration, that version had one hundred and twenty fewer boxes.

[For further reading, see the following texts by Luis Camnitzer in the ICAA digital archive: “El acceso a las corrientes mayoritarias del arte” (doc. no. 805271); “Antonio Caro guerrillero visual = visual guerrilla” (doc. no. 860606); “Art in Editions: New Approaches” (doc. no. 777430); “La colección latinoamericana del museo Guggenheim” (doc. no. 1089886); “La educación artística en Latinoamérica trasciende el problema de la identidad cultural” (doc. no. 805061); “Introduction” (doc. no. 841250); “Liliana Porter: la poesía de la comunicación” (doc. no. 1180926); and “Manifiesto del New York Graphic Workshop” (doc. no. 791656)].

Gabriel Peluffo Linari
Courtesy of Luis Camnitzer, Great Neck, NY.
Semanario Marcha. Reproduced with the permission of Dr. Jose Manuel Quijano, Montevideo, Uruguay
Archivo Gabriel Peluffo Linari