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    Jean Dubuffet o la poética de lo desagradable / Aldo Pellegrini
    Letra y Línea : Revista de cultura contemporánea. Artes plásticas. Literatura. Teatro. Cine. Música. Crítica (Buenos Aires, Argentina). -- No. 1 (Oct. 1953)
    p. 5 : ill.
    Journal article – Essays
    Pellegrini, Aldo. "Jean Dubuffet o la poética de lo desagradable." Letra y Línea: Revista de cultura contemporánea. Artes plásticas. Literatura. Teatro. Cine. Música. Crítica (Buenos Aires), no.1 (October 1955): 5.

This article analyzes Jean Dubuffet’s work within the framework of the trend it demonstrates to those artists concerned with the very essence of painting. Pellegrini stresses that for this French artist, art without spontaneity is impossible because the submission to dogma results in academism. In this way, the critic points out that, beginning with whichever instrument or material, Dubuffet seeks to respect both his impulses and the variations of the matter. He also emphasizes that in an effort to create a poetry of the unpleasant, the painter is trying to show the lack of vitality in what has until now been considered beautiful. In calling for the maximum spontaneity and the random use of devices, his work is unquestionably linked to the surrealists.


Aldo Pellegrini (Rosario 1903–Buenos Aires 1973) was a distinguished poet, dramaturge, 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 also supported and publicized various aspects of Abstract art, promoting some groups such as Artistas Modernos de la Argentina [Modern Artists of Argentina] and Asociación Arte Nuevo [New Art Association].

Letra y Línea. Revista de cultura contemporánea. Artes plásticas. Literatura. Teatro. Cine. Música. Crítica [Letter and Line. A Contemporary Culture Magazine. Visual Arts. Literature. Drama. Film. Music. Criticism] was a contemporary culture publication directed by Pellegrini; its four issues appeared between October 1953 and July 1954. Its collaborators included writers, musicians, and poets such asEdgar Bayley (1919–1990), Osvaldo Svanascini (1920), Oliverio Girondo (1890–1967), Mario Trejo (1926), Enrique Molina (1910–1997), Juan Carlos Paz (1897–1972), and Norah Lange (1906–1972), among others.

Oliverio Girondo was an Argentinean poet who was married to fellow poet Norah Lange. He was linked to the writers of Martín Fierro magazine, including Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986), Raúl González Tuñón (1905–74), Macedonio Fernández (1874–1952), Ricardo Güiraldes (1886–1926), and Leopoldo Marechal (1900–70), among many others. In the 1930s, Girondo was intensely active in public literary circles. Later, due to the experimental nature of the poems published in his bok En la masmédula [In the Very Gist], he wielded significant influence over the generation of poets associated with Pellegrini and Letra y Línea [Letter and Line] magazine. 

Jean Dubuffet (1901–85) was a French painter who used the term art brut [rough art] to describe his work; he sought to work in keeping with an art free of intellectual preoccupations. He was also interested in the aesthetic creations of mental patients, prisoners, and children. 

This source documents the links Pellegrini found between certain elements of Dubuffet’s work—such as spontaneity and risk—with those surrealist elements that he himself proclaimed. The text also documents his early support for Dubuffet’s introduction in Argentinean circles; Dubuffet’s aesthetic proved to be key in the developments achieved by the artists of the Informalist group toward the end of that decade.

Cristina Rossi
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo Víctor Chab.