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  • ICAA Record ID
    Pablo Curatella Manes / Alberto Prebisch
    Martín Fierro : Periódico quincenal de arte y crítica libre (Buenos Aires, Argentina). -- Vol. 1, no.12-13 (Oct.-Nov. 20, 1924)
    Journal article – Reviews
    Prebisch, Alberto. "Pablo Curatella Manes." Martín Fierro: Periódico de arte y crítica libre (Buenos Aires), vol. 1, no. 12-13 (October-November 1924).

Alberto Prebisch established the general rejection—as much on the part of the critic as the public—of the work of the sculptor Pablo Curattela Manes in the Witcomb Gallery. He pointed out that this reaction was due to the “hedonistic” concept that the critics and public held of the work of art, a concept in which the value of the work was based on the level of pleasure one found in contemplating the piece. In this sense, Prebisch remarked that “one of the most persistent criticisms that the work has received is directed toward the distortion imposed in … [his works] on the human architecture, going outside the realm of ‘good taste.’” Following this, Prebisch enters into an analysis of the sculptor’s oeuvre, which ought to be understood, in his words, within the “spirit of classicism,” where Nature is only a pretext for the creation of new forms, pure and independent. Through this, Prebisch proposes that in the work of Curattela Manes one of the foremost concerns is that “the work gives to the human form an architectural and constructive interpretation.”


Martín Fierro (1924-27) holds a distinguished place among the huge proliferation of Vanguard publications that appeared in Argentina, and more specifically in Buenos Aires, during the 1920s. Martín Fierro was directed first and foremost Evar Méndez; although, in 1925 it was collaboratively led by Oliverio Girondo, Eduardo J. Bullrich, Sergio Piñero, and Alberto Prebisch, in addition to Méndez. Contributors to Martín Fierro included great Argentine writers like Girondo, Ricardo Molinari, Leopoldo Marechal, and Jorge Luis Borges, among others; as well as contributions from the artists Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, and Norah Borges.

Martín Fierro halted publication when, preceding the presidential candidacy of Hipólito Yrigoyen, the core group was divided between those that supported the magazine assuming a political stance and those that did not—this internal bickering continued until the publication’s end. It is important to recognize that Martín Fierro was seen in its time as a key fixture of the vanguard in Argentina. Alberto Horacio Prebisch (1899-1970), the architect, completed his education in France, and, upon his return to Argentina, in 1924, he popularized the principles of modern architecture, and, particularly, those of Le Corbusier. In the realm of fine arts, it was the aesthetic of the “return to order” that he advocated as a critic in the pages of Martín Fierro.

Pablo Curattela Manes (1891-1962), a well-recognized Argentinean artist in the twenties, was understood by Alberto Prebisch as one of the key figures in the contemporary revision of the art of sculpture.

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