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This article analyzes the works of Josef Albers, Eduardo Barilari and Rubén Santantonín, who exhibited at the same time in Buenos Aires. It declares that “dentro de lo absurdo, lindan ya con la burla más cruel e inexplicable” [within the context of the absurd these same works border on the most cruel and inexplicable mockery]. In the specific case of Santantonín, the author describes his hanging objects as “bultos de ropa, por supuesto que nunca nueva, (…) [con] la forma de un paquete común de los que se envían al lavadero” [pieces of rope, never new, (…) [bearing] the shape of the common packaging used to send to the laundry]. He points out that the artist “ofrece (…) una explicación de eso que, como si fuera un extraordinario descubrimiento, él llama cosas” [offers (…) an explanation of these which he calls “things,” as if they were an extraordinary discovery]. At the end of the text, the author concludes with: “Mucha teoría. Tiempo será de que llegue la hora de los cuadros.” [A lot of theory. At some point paintings will make a comeback].


Santantonín’s exhibition, to which the article refers, was called Cosas [Things] (Buenos Aires: Galería Lirolay, June 1964). The catalog included text by the artist that explained the nature of his work. 

Rubén Santantonín (1919-1969) coined the term “cosas” for his artistic production. He used the term to refer to cardboard reliefs, which were meant to be exhibited on supporting walls, as well as to hanging objects, created with rudimentary materials such as plaster, cloth, cardboard and wire.

This text by Eduardo Baliari, art critic and editor of the Caballete [Easel] magazine (Buenos Aires), shows the reception Santantonín’s work received in some cases.

Natalia Pineau
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.