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    [Letter] 1974 Julio, Barco Cristoforo Colombo [to] Libero Badii / Aldo [Paparella]
    [1] leaf
    Other – Letters

    Paparella, Aldo to Libero Badii, Barco Cristoforo Colombo, July 1974. Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires.

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Aldo Paparella writes to Libero Badii about his conception of drawing, understood as a medium that supports the artwork. For him, the real problems of artistic production can be duly understood through drawing. Paparella maintains he feels drawing as did the great artists of the past in the European art tradition (Rafael, Mantegna, Corot). Paparella considers drawing to be conceptual, not illustrative, in addition to being beautiful when it achieves a web of mysterious signs.


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 in 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 Líbero 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. In this letter, Paparella writes about a seminal aspect of his sculptural practice that is usually forgotten: drawing. This was Badii's main concern at this time (with his validation of polychromatic woods as drawings in space: the board as flat plane and the bar as line).

Roberto Amigo
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of the personal archives of the Paparella Family, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.