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    Los enemigos del arte
    Contra : la revista de los francotiradores (Buenos Aires, Argentina) . -- No. 3 (Jul. 1933)
    Journal article – Poem
    "Los enemigos del arte." Contra: la revista de los francotiradores (Buenos Aires), vol. 1, no.3 (July 1933).
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Satirical poem dedicated to Amigos del Arte [the Friends of Art Association] for having prohibited David Alfaro Siqueiros’s third lecture from taking place in their meeting hall.


Having been expelled from the United States, David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) traveled to Montevideo in February of 1933, and by the end of May in that same year, he had established himself in Buenos Aires. In the River Plate, Siqueiros experimented with technique and presented arguments based on the contents of his lecture Los vehículos de la pintura dialéctico-subversiva [The Vehicles of Dialectical-Subversive Painting], which he had developed while in the United States. In June he exhibited at Amigos del Arte [Friends of Art], a liberal and modernizing arts institution. Siqueiros gave controversial lectures that polarized the arts field into the defenders of “arte puro” [“pure art”] and “arte político” [“political art”]. He collaborated on the newspaper Crítica [Critique], edited by Natalio Botana. Botana commissioned Siqueiros to paint Ejercicio Plástico [Visual Exercise], created by the Equipo Poligráfico Ejecutor [Lead Polygraphic Team] (Siqueiros,Antonio Berni (1905–1981), Lino Enea Spilimbergo (1896–1964), Juan Carlos Castagnino (1908–1972) and the Uruguayan set-designer Enrique Lázaro) in his property at Don Torcuato, Province of Buenos Aires.

This document is part of a group of articles published in Contra. La revista de los francotiradores [Against: The Snipers’ Magazine]; the publication was run in accordance with the cultural directives of the Communist Party by poet Raúl González Tuñón, who was not officially affiliated with the party. As such, Contra functioned as a leftist publication that stimulated the militant debate in both the literary and political avant-gardes. The magazine was published between April and September of 1933, approximately the months that Siqueiros spent in Buenos Aires, whose presence was central to the publication. The majority of its collaborators had worked on Crítica.

While in Argentina, Siqueiros lectured at the Asociación Amigos del Arte [Friends of Art Association]. Insofar as the institution cancelled his third talk due to its political content, it was later delivered at the premises of Signo [Sign] magazine.

This document captures the growing polarization produced by Siqueiros’s visit, during which he lost the initial cooperation of Modern trend practitioners within the arts field because of his political radicalism.

Roberto Amigo
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
CeDInCI, Buenos Aires, Argentina.