Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail

The article points out the importance of the activity brought forth by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in “our milieu” as a “very valuable collaboration to the renovation movement,” started—long ago—by the group involved in the publication Martín Fierro, thanks to whom, Marinetti found fertile ground for his sermon. He criticizes the opinions of other publications and “dozens men of letters” who spoke against the words of the theoretician of Futurism, while arguing they were completely ignorant of his proposal. In any case, Martín Fierro’s background entitled it to be the first to disseminate not only Futurist ideas, but also avant-garde theories at play in Argentina. Lastly, this piece of writing evaluates some of the statements made by Marinetti in various lectures organized for to his stay in Argentina, as well as certain peculiar traits of his personality.


Martín Fierro (1924–27) played a major role in the great proliferation of avant-garde journals published in Argentina, more specifically in the 1920s Buenos Aires. Evar Méndez led it, though throughout 1925, Oliverio Girondo, Eduardo J. Bullrich, Sergio Piñero, and Alberto Prebisch also took part in its administration. Among the participants were key Argentinean writers such as Girondo, Ricardo Molinari, Leopoldo Marechal and Jorge Luis Borges, among others; as well as the artists Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, and Norah Borges. Martín Fierro ceased publication when, preceding the presidential candidacy of Hipólito Yrigoyen, the core group was divided between those who supported the magazine assuming a political stance and those who 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 Avant-garde in Argentina.

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) arrived in Argentina in June 1926, after visiting Brazil (Río de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Santos). Leader and founder of Futurism, Marinetti presented a series of lectures in the cities of Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba, and La Plata. In Buenos Aires, the Amigos del Arte Association organized and held the lecture to accompany the Exposición de Pintores Modernos [Exhibition of Modern Painters] comprised of works by Norah Borges, Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, and Pedro Figari, as well as architectural projects by Alberto Horacio Prebisch and Ernesto Vautier.

In an article published by Martín Fierro, the same newspaper took charge of clarifying: what was interesting about Marinetti was not his political activity—tied to Italian Fascism—but rather his role as one of the “historical” innovators of literature and art in general.

Natalia Pineau
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
© 2012 Evar Méndez Estate
Fundación Pan Klub - Museo Xul Solar.