Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Aldo Paparella writes to Libero Badii about the family's economic problems, mentioning their trips through Europe and commenting to him about ancient art, emphasizing sculpture with a pronounced archaism. He mentions his future exhibition and information received from Argentina.

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Libero Badii (Arezzo, Italy, 1916-Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001) primarily developed sculpture with symbolic meanings. In the 1950s, his work was impacted formally by Pre-Columbian art after a trip through Latin America. He elaborated his concept of "the sinister," both as a form of knowledge and of feeling. He called his studio-workshop Almataller [SoulShop].

Aldo Paparella (Minturno, Italy, 1920-Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1977), soldier in the African campaign in the Second WW, was held prisoner in France. Paparella arrived to Argentina in 1950, becoming an innovator of non-figurative, informalist sculpture. At the end of the 1950s, with the series Sugerencias [Suggestions], he assembles waste materials. The aggressive use of sheet metal turns the piece into something informal, and Paparella begins to think starting with the object, more than from a traditional conception of sculptural language. This idea is developed in his Muebles inútiles [Useless Furniture].In the early-1970s, he makes the Monumentos inútiles [Useless Monuments], his most significant work, out of humble materials.

The correspondence between Aldo Paparella and Libero Badii during the former's stay in his native town in the 1970s is an important body of documents, written in a significant stage of his work. These letters allow us to question the relationship between the new sculptural languages, the European tradition, and the conception of what is Latin American, in addition to pointing out the social networks in which the artists insert themselves. Paparella's reflections address the redefinition of his already fully developed work (particularly with Monumentos inútiles made beginning in 1971, using cardboard, plaster, and rags), after considering it from his hometown and Mediterranean culture. This document is of interest as Paparella writes both about his perspective on ancient art as well as his predilection for archaism. The term "archaism" can be applied as one of Paparella's lines of research from when he stopped in the 1960s using the informal sheet metal until the Monumentos inútiles series with its visual asceticism.

Researcher
Roberto Amigo
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of the personal archives of Paparella Family, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Agentina.