Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Aldo Paparella writes to Libero Badii about the daily aspects of his stay; for example, the food, revealing how daily life allows him to elaborate aesthetic judgments. He mentions collectors' desire to have Badii's painting, by and large. Although he notes his encounter with European artists, he doesn't write their names. He mentions the catalogue for the exhibition held at Galleria d'arte la sfinge, declaring his negative opinions about the consumerist society that had already developed in Buenos Aires. He indicates that-by means of his exhibition-he wanted to pay tribute to the authentic and simple Italy of the past. He points out the artist's attitude, in which arrogance must be self-improvement in order to really recognize reality. 

Annotations

Líbero 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 in Argentina in 1950, becoming an innovator of non-figurative, informalist sculpture. At the end of the1950s, 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 Líbero Badii during the former’s stay in his native town in the 1070s 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 hometown and Mediterranean culture. In this letter, Paparella writes about his exhibition at Galleria d’arte la sfinge. It is important because it brings to the fore the relationship between his artwork and Mediterranean-ness. 

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.