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    Gyula Kosice recounts his visit with the Belgian sculptor Georges Vantongerloo. The artist’s home and workshop were then located on the Impasse Rouet in Paris. Kosice has the opportunity to observe some of Vantongerloo’s recent work in colored Plexiglas, as well as some of his first sculptural efforts from the era in which he [Vantongerloo] and Van Doesburg founded “de Stijl.” Kosice states that around 1937, Vantongerloo abandoned orthogonality and adopted a curved line in his compositions and the use of materials such as plastics, which lent his work a certain fragility which was very distinct from his first works. Vantongerloo tells him “I do not see […] the universe as geometric, but that it is necessary to measure it in meters. I believe it is electro-magnetic, with power and action, rather than a combination of objects. Man measures everything based on himself. He takes himself as a starting point and everything refers back to that […] the same error in the understanding of the universe is found in the arts.”

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    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.