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.
The Nazi-affiliated nationalist newspaper Crisol [Melting pot] writes in regard to the behavior of David Alfaro Siqueiros at a dinner he attended with Argentinean intellectuals. The paper establishes a relationship between the vulgarity of the Mexican artist’s manners and his political ideology, which the paper considers an attack on the essence of what it means to be Argentinean. Crisol ridicules the artist’s Communist ideals by calling him “the Brute,” a word that, in Argentina, carries the dual meaning of ignorant and vulgar.
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 in Buenos Aires at Amigos del Arte [Friends of Art], a liberal and modernizing arts institution. He gave controversial lectures that polarized the arts field into the defenders of “arte puro” [“pure art”] and “arte político” [“political art”]. He was supported by Contra. La revista de los francotiradores [Against: The Snipers’ Magazine], run by the leftist writer Raúl González Tuñón [see documents 733230, 733314, and 733270, among others]. Siqueiros collaborated on the newspaper Crítica [Critique], run by Natalio Botana. Botana commissioned Siqueiros to paint a mural in the cellar of his house, Quinta Los Granados, in Don Torcuato, in the Province of Buenos Aires. The Equipo Poligráfico Ejecutor [Lead Polygraphic Team]—formed by Siqueiros, Antonio Berni (1905–1981), Lino Enea Spilimbergo (1896–1964), Juan Carlos Castagnino (1908–1972), and the Uruguyan set-designer Enrique Lázaro—created Ejericio Plástico [Visual Exercise], with distorted nudes over the curved surface of the vaulted ceiling, by means of photographic projection. It was conceived as a fresco on cement, using such technical innovations as application by mechanical tools and the use of industrial silicates. In December 1933, sketches and photographs of the mural were exhibited in the magazine Signo [Sign] premises. Currently the work is in storage due to litigation; damage may affect its conservation. This document is part of a group of articles published in the nationalist Argentinean press, which carried out a campaign against the presence of Siqueiros within the framework set by the activities of the Argentinean People’s Commission against Communism. Created in 1932, this group was an expression of the nationalism that had been strengthened by the military coup of 1930. The newspapers Bandera Argentina [Argentinean Flag], a Catholic nationalist periodical, and Crisol, the anti-Semitic nationalist paper run by Enrique Osés, were the most active against the Mexican artist. From a fascist viewpoint, this document clearly speaks to the social impact of Siqueiros’s visit to Argentina.