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This is an analytical essay in which Edgar Bayley affirms the autonomy of the pictorial image. Based on that opinion, widely held among his generation, he champions “invention” over symbolism, expressionism, and romanticism. 


Arturo was published in Buenos Aires during the summer of 1944, with Carmelo Arden Quin, Rhod Rothfuss, Gyula Kosice, and Edgar Bayley on the editorial board. The original plan was to publish the magazine four times a year, at the end of each season but, as things turned out, the first issue was also the last. In addition to the articles contributed by the editorial staff, the single issue of Arturo also featured poems by Murilo Mendes (from Brazil), Vicente Huidobro (from Chile), and Joaquín Torres-García (from Uruguay).

Edgar Bayley is the name that was used by Edgar Maldonado Bayley, the Argentine poet who was born in 1919 and died in 1990. He was one of the group that launched Arturo magazine, and a founding member of the Arte-Concreto — Invención Association. He published numerous collections of poems, stories, and essays, and was also a member of Poesía Buenos Aires [Buenos Aires Poetry Group]. 

This particular text has been chosen because it highlights one of the key contributions made by Arturo magazine. It refers to the attempt at renewal that was made by a group in the Río de la Plata region in their desire to break with realism, symbolism, and primitivism and embrace an art of invention that laid the groundwork for the development of avant-garde concrete art in that part of the world.

Cristina Rossi
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of Susana Maldonado, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo Fundación Espigas.