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This is the text of an introductory essay for an exhibition of both Figurative and Non-figurative art. In Aldo Pellegrini’s opinion, both alternatives have not only overcome their old enmity but now proclaim the vitality of painting to those who dismiss it as “dead.” Works produced in the New Figuration range from distortions and the informative realism of Pop, through hints of Surrealist affiliation all the way to structures that feature optical mechanisms. The New Abstraction, derived from a Concrete background and a rationalized Informalism, obtains different results as it relies on the pure presentation of the image-sign. Pellegrini points out that Víctor Magariños D. is in transition from his Concrete beginnings to a New Abstraction.
Aldo Pellegrini (1903-1973) was a poet, playwright, essayist, art critic, and a moving force in Argentine cultural circles. He was an early promoter of Surrealism, and directed several publishing projects. He was also an active supporter and promoter of the various expressions of Abstract act, and provided encouragement to groups such as Artistas Modernos de la Argentina [Modern Artists of Argentina] and the Asociación Arte Nuevo [New Art Association]. The exhibition was presented in February 1968 at the Fiesta de las Letras, in the Argentine seaside resort of Necochea, and the following month at the Galería Van Riel in Buenos Aires. New Figuration was represented by the following artists: Esperilio Bute, Ernesto Deira, Jorge de la Vega, Jorge Demirjian, Agustín Di Sciascio, Mario Franklin Gurfein, Rómulo Macció, Ricardo Mampaey, Humberto Rivas, and Josefina Robirosa. New Abstraction was represented by: Ary Brizzi, Kenneth Kemble, Eduardo Mac Entyre, Víctor Magariños D., María Martorell, Carlos Pacheco, Rogelio Polesello, Carlos Silva, Guillermo Thiemer, and Miguel Ángel Vidal. This essay was chosen because it documents Pellegrini’s opinions concerning a collection of both Figurative and Non-figurative works. Of particular interest, considering conditions in the late 1960s, is Pellegrini’s insistence on the vitality of painting and the fact that both styles have moved beyond the old enmities that once came between them.