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


Document first page thumbnail

This article affirms the connection of the work of the Argentinean painter Emilio Pettoruti to distinct schools of the European vanguard; although, it is not possible to relegate his work to any one of them. On the contrary, the art of Pettoruti is, in the author’s opinion, the “product of an admirable synthesis.” Even if Pettoruti’s art has been exhibited in one of the European galleries most closely linked with Futurism—the Sturm Gallery in Berlin—the Argentinean’s work cannot be limited to this movement—“while carrying a little bit of all the art he has known […] [Pettoruti] brings them all a Latin heat.”


Xul Solar (Oscar Alejandro Agustín Schulz Solari, 1887-1963) and Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) were two established Argentinean artists, both connected to the aesthetic renewal of the 1920s. The two met each other during their respective trips through Europe. In 1923, Pettoruti asked Xul Solar to write the prologue for the catalogue of an exhibition that would be opening in May at the Sturm Gallery in Berlin. This text was never published. Nevertheless, there are three texts written by Xul, correspondence from the same time, which betray the opinion of the painter: one of these, Pettoruti, published in Martín Fierro (September-October 9, 1924) and another two unpublished texts, Pettoruti (ca. 1923-24) and Pettoruti y Obras (dated “Munich, June 1923”). The text presented here, written by Xul Solar, was published in the daily La Razón (which had a sizeable circulation in Buenos Aires), and this piece can be seen as a strategy for publicizing the art of the vanguard in Buenos Aires. Xul masked his identity under the pseudonym of J. Ramón, presenting himself as a mere “spectator” in disagreement with the proposals of the vanguard, but, nevertheless, he recognized positive aspects in the work of Pettoruti, showing a posture not so much reactionary as understanding with respect to the new artistic proposals.

Natalia Pineau
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of Fundación Pan Klub -Museo Xul Solar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fundación Pettoruti.