Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail

    In this text, Raúl Lozza explores and questions the idea of “essence” in abstract art in general, and in Perceptivism in particular. The text was published in the fourth issue of Perceptismo. Teórico y polémico.


    In this text published in the fourth issue of Perceptismo. Teórico y polémico (1950–53), Raúl Lozza (Alberti, 1911–Buenos Aires, 2008) questions the idea of essence in the visual arts. Lozza asserts that Perceptivism, as non-representative painting, has gone beyond “the realms of individualism, of the ‘world apart’ in which traditional art lives […].” Perceptivism “encroaches on the realms of daily life” by means of its organic and—of course—close relationship to the world.


    Lozza extends the definition of the painter’s task to encompass as well the task of the critic and the theorist. On those grounds, he revisits the work of Henri Matisse and identifies points where he disagrees with the French artist’s conception of painting. While Matisse said that his work was strictly essential, Lozza claims that that sort of essence—vague and evanescent, expressive and anecdotal—was, in his view, useless. For Lozza, the only valid essence is bound to “objective reality.”


    With concise clarity, Lozza asserts that “Perceptivism’s essential synthesis is functional plane-color, the unity of its material or visual elements in the space.” With that statement, Lozza once again underscores that Perceptivism is an eminently pictorial movement in dialogue with architecture—indeed, the tie between painting and architecture is fundamental to understanding this mid-twentieth-century movement.


    Near the end of the text, Lozza states that the relationship between painting and architecture can be understood as the relationship between the work of art and the world, the social milieu and the human being.


    Published in Argentina from 1950 to 1953, the journal Perceptismo. Teórico y polémico was the official publication of a group of artists that included, among others, Raúl Lozza and Rembrandt van Dyck Lozza (Alberti, 1915–Buenos Aires, 1996).


    [For further reading, see the following texts in the ICAA digital archive: by Abraham Haber “Raúl Lozza pintor” (doc. no. 1298504), “El proceso pictórico del ‘perceptismo’” (doc. no. 1298485), and “Pintura y arquitectura” (doc. no. 730645); by Raúl Lozza “Humanismo-perceptismo” (doc. no. 1298055), “La nueva estructura del perceptismo: conclusión” (doc. no. 730956), and “[Ante la decadencia y espíritu negativo...]” (doc. no. 731656); and by Rembrant van Dyck Lozza “El perceptismo y lo funcional” (doc. no. 1298140)].