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 article, Tomás Maldonado considers how the conflicts arising both within and beyond the borders of the Soviet Union affect communist artists such as Picasso and Matisse. He refers to the editorial published in Pravda (Moscow, August 11, 1947), which stressed that the differences of opinion should not be construed as negative since they demonstrate that there is freedom of expression in the USSR. Maldonado also mentions an article by Roger Garaudy, “Artistas sin uniforme” [“Artists Without A Uniform”], that appeared in Paris, in the August 1946 issue of Arts de France.
Orientación : órgano central del Partido Comunista [Orientation : Centralized Organ of the Communist Party] was the official name of the Argentine Communist Party newspaper which, as of September 1936, appeared as a weekly magazine called Hoy. It later took the name Orientación. Semanario de información política, social y económica [Orientation: A Weekly Journal Devoted to Political, Social, and Economic News]. In June 1943 it was accused of being an illegal publication and forced to close down. But on August 15, 1945, it reappeared in its role as official journal and was published weekly until December 21, 1949. In that period of time, Ernesto Giudici (1907–1992) was the original director until April 30, 1947, when Rodolfo Ghioldi (1897–1985) took charge.
Tomás Maldonado is an intellectual, painter, and designer, born in Buenos Aires in 1922. In 1945 he co-founded the painter’s movement known as Asociación de Arte Concreto — Invención” [“Concrete Art and Invention Association”]. He settled in Germany in 1954, where he was a professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung [School of Advanced Studies in Form] in Ulm. He subsequently became the director of that institution.
This document has been chosen because it was Tomás Maldonado’s means of reporting on the situation in which Picasso and Matisse found themselves at the time. It also refers to the ideas expressed in Roger Garaudy’s article in order to assert that the Communist Party had no official aesthetic.