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Synopsis

In this document Jorge Romero Brest introduces the exhibition Grupo de Artistas Modernos Argentinos [Modern Artists Group of Argentina] at the Stedelijk Museum of Ámsterdam. The exhibition presented works by the Concrete artists Tomás Maldonado, Alfredo Hlito, Lidy Prati, as well as artists who worked within a free abstraction: Miguel Ocampo, Antonio Fernández Muro, Sarah Grilo, Clorindo Testa, and Rafael Onetto. Brest points out that the exhibition relates to the most advanced artistic trends: the former artists conforming to geometric principles, while the latter maintain marks of an individualistic sensibility, certain organic rhythms and some references to objects of the visible world. 

Annotations

Jorge Romero Brest (1905-1989) 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 exhibition presented by this text opened on October 2, 1953, at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, accompanied by a speech by Vordemberge-Gildewart which was later reproduced in issue 5 of the Argentinean magazine nueva visión [New Vision]. 

 

The Grupo de Artistas Modernos de la Argentina (GAMA) was composed of the Concrete artists Tomás Maldonado, Alfredo Hlito, Lidy Prati, Claudio Girola, and Enio Iommi, as well as the indepedent abstract artists Miguel Ocampo, Antonio Fernández Muro, and Sarah Grilo. The group was active from 1952 until 1955. In August 1953 the group presented an exhibition at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro. Clorindo Testa and Rafael Onetto participated in the exhibition as invited artists. This same exhibition was later presented at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam. 

 

This article was selected not only because it documents the second exhibition held abroad by the Grupo de Artistas Modernos de la Argentina, but also because it establishes that the sculptors of the group did not participate in the aforementioned exhibition.

Researcher
Cristina Rossi
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires.