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 prologue introduces an exhibition of works by Manuel Espinosa and Tomás Maldonado, held at the Sociedad Argentina de Artistas Plásticos [Argentine Society of Visual Artists], in September 1947. Bayley chronicles the development of both artists, highlighting their major transformations along the path that eventually led them to Concrete art.
Manuel Espinosa was an Argentine artist; he was born in Buenos Aires in 1912 and died in 2006. He was a member of the Arte Concreto-Invención [Concrete Arte and Invention] Association, and went on to produce a body of abstract work that was distinguished by serial geometric forms and subtle combinations of color. 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 Advanced Studies in Form], where he eventually became the Director. 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, Tomás Maldonado, Alberto Molenberg, Primaldo Mónaco, Oscar Núñez, Lidy Prati, Jorge Souza, and Matilde Werbin. Espinosa, Lozza, and Maldonado took turns in the role of Secretary. Later on, Juan Mele, Gregorio Vardanega, and Virgilio Villalba also joined the group. Edgar Bayley is the name that was used by Edgar Maldonado Bayley, the Argentine poet who was born in 1919 and died in 1990. He was one of the group that launched Arturo magazine, and a founding member of the Arte Concreto — Invención Association. He published numerous collections of poems, stories, and essays, and was also a member of the Poesía Buenos Aires group. This particular document has been included because it refers to the exhibition that was presented by Maldonado and Espinosa. It should be noted that the prologue describes this exhibition as a retrospective.