The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The Argentinean painters of Otra Figuración [Another Figuration] affirm they are united only by a desire for aesthetic freedom, which does not make them into an artistic group or movement because any common affirmation would decrease the liberty of form they seek. Each has his own artistic motivations and explores that freedom of expression in his own way.
This text is the introduction for the accompanying catalogue for the Otra Figuración exhibition, held at Galería Peuser in Buenos Aires from August 23¬–September 6, 1961. The Argentinean artists on view included Luis Felipe Noé (b. 1933), Jorge de la Vega (1930–1971), Ernesto Deira (1928–1986), Rómulo Macció (1931–2016), and Carolina Muchnik and Sameer Makarius (1924–2009), who would not show their work again with the members of Otra Figuración. The exhibition, and this text, marked the birth of Otra Figuración [Another Figuration] or (Nueva Figuración) “conjunto de pintores” [ensemble of painters] as it was the first time these artists exhibited collectively (their last group exhibition was held at the Galería Bonino in Buenos Aires in 1965). The text is a type of manifesto because it champions the quest for freedom of form. From this perspective of total freedom, the artists renounce all dogma and collective rules. The text introduces the content of the catalogue, consisting of declarations by each artist as a series of individual manifestos. Otra Figuración developed within a period of great artistic energy in Argentina, above all centered on the cultural institution, Instituo Torcuato Di Tella, which promoted innovation and experimentation. As their name indicates, the artists of Otra Figuración sought a new way of creating figurative art, and of representing and expressing humanity, which was their response to the dominance of abstract art in the 1940s. In some sense, Otra Figuración overcame the dichotomy of abstract figuration by representing human figures that seem to emerge. Although they sought the greatest individual artistic liberty by rejecting the term “group,” there are nevertheless some common aesthetic qualities in their work: the importance of materials, such as the presence of thick and rapid brushstrokes, and in format, which is transformed into a type of collage through the incorporation of additional elements into the work. As complementary reading, see these other texts from the Galería Peuser catalogue in the ICAA digital archive: by Luis Felipe Noé, “Otra figuración no es otra vez figuración…” (doc. no. 740692), by Jorge de la Vega, “No fui exactamente yo…” (doc. no. 1326615). On the Otra Figuración group, see also: by Geraldo Ferraz, “Estes artistas de um ‘neofigurativismo’...” In Pinturas: Deira, Macció, Noé, and De La Vega. [Exh. cat., Río de Janeiro: Galería Bonino, 1963] (doc. no. 741551)].