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    Synopsis

    This essay, written in 1948 by the leader of the Movimiento de Arte Madí—the Czech-Argentinean sculptor and poet Gyula Kosice—reiterates the program the movement launched with their “Manifiesto Madí” in 1946. Kosice identifies limitations in the historical avant-garde, criticizes certain contemporary trends, and describes the fundamental principles of Madí art. He notes the importance of articulation and movement in Madí art.

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    This important essay, written in 1948 by the leader of the Movimiento de Arte Madí—the Czech sculptor and poet Gyula Kosice [Fernando Fallik] (b. Kosice, Slovakia, 1924; d. Buenos Aires, 2016)—reiterates the program the movement launched with their famous “Manifiesto Madí” in August 1946 [see the ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 732008)]. In the 1948 manifesto Kosice, hewing to the dialectical materialism line, insists that every form of artistic expression should reflect its period, and states that Madí “is the art of our time.” He identifies limitations in the historical avant-garde—Cubism, Expressionism, Dadaism, and Surrealism—and states that, despite the fact that concrete art launched the “great period” of non-figuration, it did not totally overcome some of the restrictions imposed by older styles. Kosice also criticizes certain movements such as automatism, intuitionism, and non-figuration. He describes the fundamental principles of Madí art—a new kind of art based on “invention” that seeks to create “essential objects” within the various fields of art production. He notes the importance of articulation and movement in Madí art, two principles he relied on to create works such as his articulated paintings and Röyi (1944)—Latin America’s first mobile transformable sculpture—that would introduce Madí’s most significant innovations: Kinetic art and viewer participation. It is also important to note Kosice’s ideas about the autonomy of art; his objection to narration and representation; and his scientific and realistic approach.

     

    The Movimiento de Arte Madí was part of a cultural revolution that was sparked by a powerful, fertile encounter between the visual arts and other artistic fields, such as music and literature, in Argentina. This revolution was led by Kosice, who was born in Slovakia but migrated to Argentina when he was 4 years old, the Uruguayan visual artist Carmelo Arden Quin [Carmelo Heriberto Alves] (1913–2010), the Argentinean poet Edgar Bayley (1919–90), and the Uruguayan visual artist Rhod Rothfuss [Carlos María Rothfuss] (1920–69).

     

    The Madí group held its first official exhibition in August 1946 at the Instituto Francés de Estudios Superiores (doc. no. 751035). Participants in this exhibition, which featured a variety of performances, included Bailey, Blaszko, Valdo Wellington, Elizabeth Steiner, the Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro (1893–1948), the Argentinean visual artist and poet Diyi Laañ (1927–2007)—who married Kosice in 1947—, the composers Estéban Eitler [Stefan Eitler] (1913–60) and Juan Carlos Paz (1897–1972), the architect Ricardo Humbert, and the dancer and choreographer Paulina Ossona (1923–2005).

     

    During the course of the exhibition Arden Quin read the “Manifiesto Madí,” which was not published until 1947, after Arden Quin and Blaszko had left the group, Kosice had changed the group’s name to Madinemsor, and they published the magazine Madí Nemsor del Movimiento Madí Universal. In the “Manifiesto Madí” the group launched a program of activities and introduced Madí as a broad platform that would create tools with which to transform modern life based on a range of artistic disciplines such as architecture, music, poetry, literature, theater, and dance. The first issue of the magazine included photographs of the original Madí exhibition and the “Madí dance” performed by Ossona during the exhibition; it also included an article in which Kosice discussed the displacement, conversion, and movement of forms in Madí’s plural sculpture in “Escultura Madí” (doc. no. 731995).

     

    Subsequent issues were published under the title Arte Madí Universal until June 1954. Kosice directed the magazine throughout its entire existence. This document was published in the second issue and complements the editorial essay entitled “Concepto de Creación é Invención Madí” (doc. no. 731954). Other Madí members and contributors included Juan Bay (1892–1978), Antonio Llorens, Abraham Linenberg, Jacqueline Lorin-Kaldor, Nicolás Kasak, María Bresler, Salvador Presta, Rodolfo Ian Uricchio, Juan P. Delmonte, Nelly Esquivel, Aníbal J. Biedma, and Alberto Scopelli.