The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This document is the forewod to the Grupo de Artistas Modernos Argentinos [Modern Artists Group of Argentina] exhibition that presented works by the concrete artists Tomás Maldonado, Alfredo Hlito, Enio Iommi, Claudio Girola, Lidy Prati, as well as the independent artists Miguel Ocampo, Antonio Fernández Muro, Sarah Grilo, Clorindo Testa, and Rafael Onetto. The critic Romero Brest introduces the work of the Concrete artists, pointing out that they create artistic symbols related to the world of geometry; while the second group of artists maintain marks of an individualistic sensibility, certain organic rhythms, and some references to objects of the visible world.
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 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 to 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 as invited artists. This same exhibition, without the sculptures, was later presented at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam in October 1953.
This article was selected not only because it documents the first exhibition held abroad by the Grupo de Artistas Modernos de la Argentina, but also because it relates to a key exhibition regarding the regional dissemination of Argentinean Concrete art.