Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

www.mfah.org Home

IcaadocsArchive

Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    742834
    TITLE
    Carta a Guillermo de Torre / Abraham Haber
    IN
    Perceptismo : Teórico y polémico (Buenos Aires, Argentina). -- No. 6 (ene. 1953). p. 5
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Journal article – Letters
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION

    Haber, Abraham. "Carta a Guillermo de Torre." Perceptismo: Teórico y polémico (Buenos Aires), no.6 (January 1953).

    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

Letter published in response to Guillermo de Torre’s articles in the newspaper La Nación [The Nation] between August 31 and September 21, 1952. Taking on the Perceptivist stance, Haber responds to the concepts that de Torre uses to attack non-representational painting. He points out that deTorre, unlike [those] in Realism and abstraction, advocated an art in which reality is “semi-represented,” requiring the orientation of critics. The critics, with the interpretive keys, would thus have the opportunity to “elevate the cultural level of the masses.” Taking the opposite position, Haber made it known to the Spanish poet that, on the one hand, the Perceptivist approach had eliminated the representation that mediates the visual art values and the spectator; and, on the other hand, with that approach, the need to “explain” everything the painter had hidden also disappeared. 

Annotations

The magazine Perceptismo. Teórico y Polémico [Perceptivism: Theoretical and Polemical] was the official publication of the Perceptivist group. Raúl Lozza, Rembrandt van Dyck Lozza (1915–96) and Haber wrote in its seven issues—which circulated in Buenos Aires between October 1950 and July 1953. The last issue incorporated the subtitle “Homenaje al esfuerzo por la paz” [Tribute to the peace effort], and the group decided to remove it from sale due to the risk of it being confiscated due to the prevailing censorship in those years. 

Perceptivism is the name given to the approach created by the Argentinean artist Raúl Lozza (1911–2008), after the dissolution of the Asociación de Arte Concreto — Invención [Concrete Art and Invention Association]. The Perceptivist approach is based on three principles: the substitution of traditional background with the notion of field (architectural wall), the creation of cualimetría [quality measurements] as the flat shape, and the centrifugal structure of references in space, which seeks to do away with the impact of the periphery. Abraham Haber (1924–86) was a philosopher, student of Jung’s work, wrote Un símbolo vivo [A Living Symbol], besides working in art criticism and being the theoretician of the Perceptivist group.

Guillermo de Torre (1900–71) was an essayist, poet, and critic of literature and Spanish art belonging to the Generation of 27. In Buenos Aires, he was a professor of literature in theUniversidad de Buenos Aires; besides devoting himself to literary and artistic criticism, he was also a founding member, as literary consultant, to the Losada editorial group. 

This source has been selected because it illustrates Haber’s opinions on Guillermo de Torre’s statements, printed in the newspaper La Nación [The Nation]—which can be consulted in the documentsno.757470 and 743556—and, at the same time, he inserts himself into the debates about “denominations,” stemming from the emergence of abstract art in the Argentinean art scene. 

Researcher
Cristina Rossi.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of Navidad Laudi de Haber, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Fundación Espigas.