Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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    In this publication, Laura Buccellato writes about Liliana Porter’s beginnings as an artist and traces the evolution of her artistic practice, per its relevance in the course of contemporary art. She says that “our artistic century is characterized by an incessant sequence of transformations operated on the very language of art.” When writing on Porter’s place in contemporary art history, she says “to make art today implies to also make discourse on art and the history of art,” which comes full circle when Buccellato inserts Porter’s appropriations of historical literary and artistic influences. In the back pages of the publication, Buccellato provides a chronology of Porter’s exhibitions and major life events from 1941 to 1981.

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    In “Pintores Argentinos del Siglo XX,” curator and author Laura Buccellato writes on the importance of Argentinean artist Liliana Porter’s (b.1941) career in the trajectory of contemporary art. She begins with biographical information regarding Porter, making note of her move to New York and Porter’s co-founding role in the establishment of the New York Graphic Workshop. Buccellato inserts various major exhibitions that took place for Porter, including her participation in the Museum of Modern Art’s pivotal Projects Series in 1972, where her prints were presented alongside prints of Chuck Close.

     

    She focuses on Porter’s special interest in reality and the representation of reality itself. Buccellato suggests that Porter fuses illusion with the truth in her drawings, prints and photographs, as she rationally investigates the structures of thought and perception. Porter’s interest in the Surrealist artist René Magritte is no mistake, says Buccellato. She infers that Magritte’s approach to structural relations and the image of reality in his representation of consciousness or memory attracts Porter. She states that Porter developed an “analytical attitude in exploring the fragmentary aspect of reality” and not only assessed the process of illusion and imitation of reality but created works that act as “statement[s] of the confrontation of objects that are not normally associated.”

     

    Buccellato’s essay is important because it places Porter’s work as representative of the versatility of contemporary art, while it utilizes techniques from the past. [See in the ICAA digital archive, the texts: “Liliana Porter: Durero, industria, objeto, week-end,” in El Mundo (doc. no. 772573) regarding the NYGW and “Liliana Porter” by Galería Conkright (doc. no. 777399) regarding a list of Porter’s exhibitions].

     

    Liliana Porter (b. 1941) was born in Buenos Aires, and began studying art at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano. In 1958 she and her family moved to Mexico City, where she enrolled at the Universidad Iberoamericana and took classes from the German artist Mathias Goeritz (1915–90), specializing in printmaking with Guillermo Silva Santamaría. She returned to Buenos Aires in 1961 and remained there until 1964, from where she moved to New York City where she joined forces with Luis Camnitzer and José Guillermo Castillo to start the New York Graphic Workshop (NYGW, 1964–65), a space where classes were held and other artists’ works were printed (closed 1970). In the last 20 years of her career she has specialized in pictures and sculptures that incorporate figurines found in thrift stores and flea markets, as well as larger installations that incorporate surrounding spaces and sites. Liliana Porter currently lives and works in Rhinebeck, New York state.