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.
This is Tomás Maldonado’s response to the survey conducted by Contrapunto magazine. He is sanguine, not only about the future of the visual arts — “one of the most effective lubricants for revolutionary tension” — but about the future of mankind. In his opinion, Concrete art is the only one that “neither copies, abstracts, nor represents.” Given that representing an object on the plane constitutes an illusion that negates the reality of that plane, Maldonado emphasizes that Concrete art is the only realistic one because, rather than “mirroring” new invented realities, it “evinces” them.
Contrapunto, a bimonthly magazine, was devoted to literature, criticism, and art. The magazine’s objective was to explore the hidden nuances to be found among the more extreme positions, deliberately adopting a heterogeneous approach when it came to selecting subject matter and writers. The Editorial Board consisted of Héctor René Lafleur (Secretary), León Benarós, Arturo Cerretani, Sigfrido Radaeli, José Luis Lanuza (all of whom were writers), the illustrator Fernando Guibert, the poet Alejandro Denis-Krause, and the painter Raúl Lozza (editors). Daniel Devoto, César Fernández Moreno, and Roger Plá were also in the editorial department, and Tristán Fernández was in management. Contrapunto appeared six times in Buenos Aires between December 1944 and October 1945.
Maldonado is an intellectual, a painter, and a designer, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1922. In 1945 he helped found the painter’s movement known as the Arte Concreto — Invención Association, and in 1954 he went to Germany, to take up a position as a professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung [School of Advances Studies in Form], in Ulm, where he eventually became the Director. Antonio Berni, Maldonado himself, Jorge Larco, Juan del Prete, Norah Borges, Horacio Butler, Emilio Pettoruti, Manuel Espinosa, Orlando Pierri, Francisco De Santo, Joaquín Torres García, Raúl Soldi, and Enrique Policastro replied to the survey, which enquired about the future of painting. The Arte Concreto — Invención Association’s membership consisted of Edgar Bayley, Antonio Caraduje, Simón Contreras, Manuel Espinosa, Alfredo Hlito, Enio Iommi, Obdulio Landi, Raúl Lozza, Maldonado, Alberto Molenberg, Primaldo Mónaco, Oscar Núñez, Lidy Prati, Jorge Souza, and Matilde Werbin. Manuel Espinosa, Raúl Lozza, and Maldonado took turns in the role of Secretary. Later on, Juan Mele, Gregorio Vardanega, and Virgilio Villalba also joined the group. Maldonado was part of the Concrete art Avant-garde, and wrote a number of essays, such as Manifiesto Invencionista [An Invencionista Manifesto].
This particular article has been chosen because it confirms that Maldonado responded to the Contrapunto survey [What is the Future of Painting?], and it previews ideas that subsequently became part of that manifesto.