Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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    Synopsis

    In this document two works are presented side-by-side: “Preludio”—a musical composition—and a drawing, both of which were created by the Austrian-Italian composer Estéban Eitler [Stefan Eitler] (1913–60). This juxtaposition illustrates Madí’s fundamental belief that art is an aesthetic continuum in space and time; that the visual arts and the other arts—music, architecture, theater, dance, poetry, and literature—can work together to raise the level of human existence.

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    This document explains how Arte Madí Universal, the magazine published by the Movimiento de Arte Madí, promoted the program proposed by this Argentinean avant-garde movement. Two works are presented side-by-side in this document: “Preludio”—a musical composition—and a drawing, both of which were created by the Austrian-Italian composer Estéban Eitler [Stefan Eitler] (1913–60). This juxtaposition illustrates Madí’s fundamental belief that art is an aesthetic continuum in space and time; that the visual arts and the other arts—music, architecture, theater, dance, poetry, and literature—can work together to raise the level of human existence. The juxtaposition seen here suggests that the notes that Eitler wrote on the staff and the lines in his drawing are closely related, implying that both music and drawing are but two sides of the same coin, two different ways to express a single reality. Music played a leading role in this attempt to integrate the arts. Eitler was an active avant-garde composer in Argentina at that time. He and the well-known Argentinean composer Juan Carlos Paz (b. Buenos Aires, 1897; d. Buenos Aires, 1972) were proponents of the new twelve-tone (dodecaphonic) technique, an atonal musical scale developed by the Austrian-American composer Arnold Schönberg (1874–1951) based on twelve tones which are solely related with one another. Paz was the first Latin American composer to use this technique. Eitler joined the Madí movement and provided music for the group’s exhibitions; he also took part in the events, exhibiting drawings and musical compositions that he later published in several issues of their magazine Arte Madí Universal, as can be seen in this document. Eitler and Paz joined the other members in the movement’s first official exhibition at the Instituto Francés de Estudios Superiores de Buenos Aires in August 1946 [see the ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 751035)].

    At this unconventional exhibition, and among other activities, Arden Quin read the group’s “Manifesto” (doc. no. 732008) and Ossona performed a “Madí dance.” We would also suggest a review of the brochure produced for the movement’s third exhibition (2 – 18 November, 1946), which mentions Eitler (doc. no. 731625). Other articles of interest include one in which Paz describes and promotes the “new music” in “¿Qué es nueva música?” (doc. no. 730576); one that notes the importance of the microtonal system of writing in “Música atemática y música microtonal” (doc. no. 730561); the one in which Raúl Lozza explains the basic structure of inventive music, as distinct from “decadent” music in “Hacia una música invencionista” (doc. no. 731568); and the one in which Matilde Werbin [Matilde Schmidberg] outlines the advantages of the dodecaphonic system in “Fundamentos para una música elementarista” (doc. no. 730375).