Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In 1952, Daniel Mont invited Mathias Goeritz to construct “whatever he wanted.” Given such freedom, the sculptor developed the idea of Arquitectura Emocional [Emotional Architecture]: a structure that would contain the arts with the purpose of creating emotions, as was done with the pyramids, the Greek temples, or the gothic cathedrals. So he built, in Mexico City, the Museo Experimental El Eco thinking about the spiritual needs of the society, and striving for a visual integration with the purpose of eliciting the maximum emotion in modern man. Goeritz writes about the different uses and gradual destruction of the building, and concludes that such a work only pretended to be an experiment. He recognizes the influence that such a construction had upon his artistic activities, particularly on the monumental Las Torres de Satélite [The Satellite Towers], at the northern suburban exit of the city; a work that has to be understood as the meeting of painting, sculpture, and arquitectura emocional. However, in spite of the widespread use for publicity, the towers are for Goeritz “un rezo plástico dentro de un siglo sin fe” [a plastic prayer within a faithless century.]

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With the idea that the construction of the museum was implicitly an experiment, Mathias Goeritz (1915-1990) invited several artists to participate with something that they had never done, thus seeking—with the meeting of diverse artistic expressions—to elicit profound emotions in the spectator. As a result Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) created a black and white fresco, Carlos Mérida (1891-1986) decorated the bar and one of the walls of the bar, the British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) designed, in the style of Diego Rivera, some “Judas” [huge carton puppets] that Alfonso Soto Soria had previously drawn on the wall of the principal hall where Goeritz placed a sculpture and Germán Cueto (1893-1975) produced a painting for the wall of the staircase landing. On the day of its inauguration, Luis Buñuel was the choreographer for a Walter Nicks ballet, and finally Pilar Pellicer created a modern dance piece to the percussive music composed by Lan Adomian, which was performed all over the many rooms of the museum.

Researcher
Ana María Rodríguez
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
Courtesy of Ida Rodríguez Prampolini and Daniel Goeritz Rodríguez, Veracruz, Mexico
Location
Archivo particular