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.
In this text, artist Gyula Kosice recounts his meeting with André Bloc, architect, painter, sculptor, engineer, editor, and founder of various magazines in Europe. Kosice visits with Bloc, who had been a supporter of Le Corbusier, in his renowned Maison du Sculpteur in Meudon, one hour from Paris. During the interview, Bloc describes the financial and personal difficulties he encountered in starting the magazine Art d'Aujourd'hui [Art of Today] (1949–54), which had achieved an international reputation by covering countless architects, engineers, urban planners, painters, and designers of the avant-garde, as well as the most significant events in these areas of study. As the interview progresses, Bloc leads Kosice around his vast and bright workshop, and describes—using his works as examples—the unexpected process that guided his transition from architecture to the visual arts and how he finally achieved—in response to the austerity of functionalism—the integration of these arts. Kosice emphasizes Bloc’s sculptural work, beginning in 1940 when he created the Espace group with Félix Del Marle. In Kosice’s words, Bloc finds his identity and artistic convergence in sculpture, which he manifests through the most audacious conceptions of organization and communication.
Gyula Kosice (1924–2016) was a writer, poet, painter, and sculptor who is considered one of the most influential artists of the avant-garde in Latin America. Among other accomplishments, in 1944, Kosice contributed to the launch of Arturo magazine and in that same year he also played a key role in the Arte Concreto-Invención movement in Argentina. In 1946, Kosice, along with other artists, founded the Arte Madí movement [see in the ICAA digital archive “Se reconocerá por Arte Madí...],” by Gyula Kosice (doc. no. 732008)]. In 1957, the French government awarded Kosice a grant that allowed him to travel across a great part of Europe and the United States, where he presented multiple group and solo exhibitions. These travels provided the artist with opportunities to converse with numerous art critics, and delve into the work of artists, writers, and poets of the European avant-garde. Throughout 1959, Kosice wrote about these experiences in the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación. These articles were later published by Ediciones Losange under the title Geocultura de la Europa de Hoy [The Geoculture of Europe Today]. The book includes the interviews that Gyula Kosice had with important personalities within European intellectual and artistic circles such as Jean Arp (doc. no. 1318752), Max Bill (doc. no. 1316654), André Bloc (doc. no. 1316654), Sonia Delaunay (doc. no. 1316736), Cesar Domela (doc. no. 1316751), Lucio Fontana (doc. no. 1316828), Emile Gilioli (doc. no. 1317009), Auguste Herbin (doc. no. 1316751), Richard Mortensen (doc. no. 1317455), Bruno Munari (doc. no. 1318737), Antoine Pevsner (doc. no. 1318871), Denise Rene (doc. no. 1318905), Nicolas Shoffer (doc. no. 1318905), Michel Seuphor (doc. no. 1318922), and Georges Vantongerloo (doc. no. 1318939). Kosice had also planned to interview Jean Paul Sartre, André Breton, Albert Camus, and Pablo Picasso, but these conversations did not take place. In Geocultura de la Europa de Hoy, Kosice used the interviews to evaluate the state of the arts in the Europe of that era, just as Louis Aragon had done the year before. In 1958, Aragon had published in Les Lettres françaises—of which he was editor—a series of conversations with some of the aforementioned artists under the title “Qu’est-ce que l’avant-garde en 1958?” [What is the avant-garde in 1958?] That same year philosopher and writer Michel Butor (1926–2016) would touch on the same theme in his essay “‘Geographie intelectualle’ du monde,” published in Le Figaro littéraire. These texts, including those by Gyula Kosice, demonstrated the need to re-evaluate the mission of the avant-garde movement in Europe and Latin America, given the rise and incorporation of new art trends, principally within the United States, such as Abstract Expressionism and action painting.