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Alberto Prebisch reports on the exhibition held at “Friends of Art” comprised of works by Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, Norah Borges, as well as two projects by the architects, Ernesto Vautier and Alberto Prebisch, representatives of the “new strengths”. Likewise, he mentions that in this occasion Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) “placed within the audience’s reach some of the most well-known points of his aesthetic dogma,” which at the time were unknown even to “educated listeners”. In this sense, Prebisch points out how the “Marinettian Futurism” has suffered from the broad surpass in artistic practices, which were apparent in the works of the artists that comprised this exhibition.


The Exhibition of Modern Painters (Buenos Aires, June of 1926), held at the Friends of Art Association’s venue, was organized to accompany the lecture given by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944), which he offered given his stay in Argentina. Besides the one given in Buenos Aires, this leader and founder of Italian Futurism gave other lectures in Rosario, Córdoba and La Plata. Marinetti arrived to Argentina on June of 1926, before visiting Brazil (Río de Janeiro, São Paulo and Santos). Alberto Horacio Prebisch (1899-1970), architect, completed his training in France. When he returned to Argentina in 1924, he spread the principles of Modern Architecture, particularly, Le Corbusier’s proposal. As an art critic in the Martín Fierro journal, he advocated for a “return to order” aesthetic in the visual arts field. Martín Fierro (1924-1927) played a major role in the large proliferation of avant-garde journals published in Argentina, more specifically in Buenos Aires in the twenties. Evar Méndez led it, even though throughout the year of 1925, Oliverio Girondo, Eduardo J. Bullrich, Sergio Piñero and Alberto Prebisch also took part in its administration. Among the participants were great Argentinian writers such as, Girondo himself, Ricardo Molinari, Leopoldo Marechal and Jorge Luis Borges, among others; as well as the participation of artists Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar and Norah Borges.

Martín Fierro ceased to exist with the national presidential campaign of Hipólito Yrigoyen; the group divided among members who proposed to include politics in the journal’s content and those who opposed it. This internal debate resulted in the publication’s closing. It’s important to emphasize that Martín Fierro was perceived by its contemporaries as representative of the “avant-garde” in Argentina.  

Natalia Pineau
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of the Prebisch Family, Houston, TX
Fundación Pan Klub-Museo Xul Solar.