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Writing the prologue for the catalogue of the Premio Ver y Estimar [To See and Ponder Magazine Prize] held in 1963 in Buenos Aires, the author claims to observe the distinctive feature of this competition in this statement: “it voluntarily renounces celebrities and instead invites budding artists.” As a result, the collection of works “had a sense of the unexpected, and was more about finding than seeking.” He concludes that the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which is where the exhibition was held, “is to be congratulated at times like these” because it understands that the “young artists…will establish the necessary spiritual connection to preserve our nationality.”
Ver y estimar (Buenos Aires, 1948–55) was originally a magazine created by Jorge Romero Brest with the help of his students. In 1954 the Ver y Estimar Association was founded which, some years later, gave rise to the Ver y Estimar Magazine Prize (Buenos Aires, 1960–68). The 1963 installment of the event was held at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires), which was, at that time, under the direction of Romero-Brest himself.
Other than Rubén Santantonín, the participating artists were: Carola Albano, Nelson Blanco, Ines Blumencveig, Héctor Borla, Clara Bullrich, Sara Delia Cancela, Pier Cantamessa, Miguel Caride, Luis Castelo, Jorge Cedrón, Zulema Ciordia, Oscar Curtino, Jorge Demirjian, Francisco Díaz Hermelo, Alicia Díaz Rinaldi, Casimiro Domingo, Roberto Duarte Laferriere, José Luis Ducet, Mario Festa, Carmen Gómez, Horacio Grosso, Narcisa Hirsch, Walter Jac, Osami Kawano, Carmen Laprida, Carlos Lesca, Oscar César Mara, Pablo Mesejean, Nemesio Mitre Aguirre, Esther Minnucci, Noe Nojechowiz, Alicia Orlando, César Paternosto, Néstor Pellegrini, Pérez Celis, Delia Puzzovio, Raquel Rabinovich, Bertha Rappaport, Margaret Ramallo, Emilio Renart, Claudio Rodríguez Ponce, Jorge Roiger, Arturo Saez, Elsa Soibelman, Carlos Squirru, Peter Sussmann, Jorge Tapia, Silvia Torras, Ileana Vegezzi, María Isabel Villegas, and Martha Zuik.
Though Santantonín’s poetics favored transforming the traditional idea of what constitutes a work of art—(his ideas concerning the thing instead of the work of art; the development of the tactile and the sensory rather than the contemplative; the energy of the immediate; the perishable, the degradable and the fleeting instead of the durable), which would lead to conflict with regard to his involvement in prizes and salons—he understood that his works were aiding and abetting that transformation. That is, they had to be shown to facilitate that process.