Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Using the Grupo de Artistas Modernos de la Argentina exhibition held at Galería Krayd in 1953 as a starting point, Jorge Romero Brest writes a critical text explaining his motives for supporting Concrete art. He proposes—in a prophetic tone—that architecture has become the ruling art with which painters and sculptors will have “to merge themselves” one day. 

Annotations

The magazine Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] was a publishing project directed by Jorge Romero Brest (1905-1989) in collaboration with a group of disciples who emerged from the art history courses he gave. He had lost his position as a professor because of the Juan Domingo Perón government. This publication stimulated critical thought and publicized the renewal of artistic languages from the modernizing perspective held by its director. Thirty-four issues were published between April 1948 and December 1953. After an interruption of several months, an additional ten issues were published, belonging to the magazine's second period, which ended in October 1955. The editor-in-chief was Damián Carlos Bayón (1915-1995). 

Jorge Romero Brest was a professor, critic, and promoter of the visual arts in Argentina. During the regime of Juan Domingo Perón (1895-1974) he was relieved of his academic duties and became the director of Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] magazine. Later on, the de facto government that overthrew Perón on September 16, 1955, which called itself the Revolución Libertadora, named Romero Brest the administrator of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [The National Museum of Fine Arts] of Buenos Aires. In 1956 he became the director of the Museum, a post he held until 1963. During the 1960s, he directed the Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute’s Center for Visual Arts]. The Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] editorial project was undertaken with the support of his students as an offshoot of the art history classes that Brest taught after being removed from his position as professor during the Peronist regime.

The artists who participated in the exhibition analyzed by the article were Antonio Fernández Muro, Claudio Girola, Sarah Grilo, Alfredo Hlito, Enio Iommi, Tomás Maldonado, and Miguel Ocampo. 

This article was selected because it documents the opinions that Romero Brest held at that time regarding Concrete art. It also disseminates concepts developed in his book ¿Qué es el arte abstracto? [What is abstract art?], published by Columba in that same year.

Researcher
Cristina Rossi
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Fundación Espigas.