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.
Atilio Chiappori writes about the current time in Argentinean painting from his authority as the director of Argentina’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts] in order to critique the development of modern art. And this in reference to the 1920s modernizing renewal carried out by Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, Horacio Butler, Alfredo Guttero, and Aquiles Badi, among others. He does it from traditional aesthetic points of view, mainly in defense of beauty as a seminal concept in art. Chiappori’s opinion is a defense of the naturalistic painting at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The modernization of the arts in Argentina had one of its main stages during the 1920s. After the artists identified with the Martín Fierro journal—Emilio Pettoruti (1892–1971), Xul Solar (1887–1963), and Norah Borges (1901–1998)—toward the end of the decade, some events took place: the actions of Alfredo Guttero (1882–1932) and the Artistas del Pueblo [Artists for the People] with the socio-political engraving, as well as the activities in the local milieu by artists who studied in Paris: Aquiles Badi (1894–1976), Horacio Butler (1897–1983), Héctor Basaldúa (1895–1976), Raquel Forner (1902–1988), Alfredo Bigati (1898–1964), Berni himself, and Lino Enea-Spilimbergo (1896–1964). During this modernization process, the confrontation was posed against the “traditional” artists who practiced Post-Impressionist Naturalism.
Atilio Chiappori, director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts], was a defender of that figurative aesthetic defined as “national art.” This text is related to the one published in the same media by sculptor Pedro Zonza-Briazo, briefly after “El momento actual en la escultura” [The current time in sculpture] (document no. 767888). Zonza-Briazo expressed his ideas about sculpture in the same terms as Chiappori did about painting.
The modern artists, headed by Butler, published an open letter critiquing this article (doc. no. 790317), while Berni wrote a lambasting article highlighting both points of view: “Cada uno en su lugar” [To each his own] (doc. no. 732982).