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Aldo Pellegrini’s foreword to the exhibition Arte Nuevo [New Art] (1955) emphasizes that the artist’s mission consists of controlling the energizing value of beauty and in giving it order. He believes that the more the artist controls that energy, the more beauty will arise within a state of tension from the work, although that energy is always spiritual in nature, given that it is the result of an expansive force that has its kernel in man. Pellegrini includes this group of nonfigurative artists within the rise of Argentinean abstract art and also expresses his support for these artistic manifestations from their very beginning.
Aldo Pellegrini (Rosario 1903–Buenos Aires 1973) was a distinguished poet, playwright, essayist, and art critic within Argentinean cultural circles. From the beginning, he was linked to the development of Surrealism, and he also directed various publishing projects. Pelligrini supported and publicized various aspects of abstract art, promoting some groups such as Artistas Modernos de la Argentina.
The Asociación Arte Nuevo was formed at the suggestion of Carmelo Arden Quin; it was composed of nonfigurative artists who came together in order to disseminate the artistic production of this trend via publications, exhibitions, and conferences. This group held Salons that were supported by Aldo Pellegrini and that functioned without the choice of admission juries.
The exhibition prefaced by this foreword was held at Galería Van Riel in November 1955. The participating artists were: Eugenio Abal, Hans Aebi, Julián Althabe, Manuel Álvarez, Carmelo Arden Quin, Rudy Ayoroa, Juan E. Bechis, Martín Blaszko, Marcelo Bonevardi, Néstor Corral, Víctor Chab, Horacio Félix Denot, Franco Di Segni, Domingo Di Stéfano, Simona Ertan, Fischer, Magda Frank, Julio Gero, Noemí Gerstein, Nahum Goijman, Grondona, Gina Ionesco, Eduardo Jonquières, Alex Klein, Jorge Lezama, Sameer Makarius, Francisco Maranca, Martínez Carrera, Juan Mele, Ocampo Landa, Aldo Paparella, Blanca Pastor, Martha Peluffo, Ana Sacerdote, Fred Schiffer, Serón, Sinclair, Jorge Souza, Osvaldo Stimm, Osvaldo Svanascini, Abraham Taradach, Luis Tomasello, Tomás M. Towas, Gregorio Vardanega, Vera, Virgilio Villalba, Viola, and Zygro.
This article was selected because it documents the First Salon held at Galería Van Riel as well as the formation of the Asociación Arte Nuevo as an open movement destined to bring together not only painters and sculptors, but also photographers, musicians, and architects.