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Jorge Romero Brest published the letter written in Oslo (Norway), in 1962, for Libero Badii's exhibition at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts], in which he excused himself for not having been able to write the corresponding foreword. In the letter, he states that Badii's works really exist since they project what is real from the very source. Romero Brest brings to the fore the shift occurred in the 1960s art field, something that is clearly seen in the work of Badii due to the destructive, highly dramatic quality of the material (bronze) and the dynamics that appropriates space (wood). The art critic handles the concept around an "image consciousness" as something in overt opposition with the current approach in force of the "imagining consciousness," of the artist "being time" of all those who abandoned representation.
Libero Badii (Arezzo, Italy, 1916-Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001) was initially involved with the symbolic meaning in sculpture. In the 1950s, after having traveled throughout Latin America, his work was formally influenced by Pre-Columbian art. He concocted the concept of "the sinister," both as a form of knowledge and as a way of feeling. The artist named his studio-workshop as Almataller [SoulShop].
Jorge Romero Brest (1904-1989) was the director of the Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] journal (1948-55). He was appointed inspector of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts] in 1955, and served as its director from 1956 until 1963, the year he resigned to assume the direction of the Centro de Artes Visuales [Visual Arts Center] of Instituto Di Tella for which he was a consultant. In 1962 and being the director, Romero Brest organized an exhibition by Libero Badii at the MNBA.
This document is important for understanding both the significance of Badii's work in the 1960s and the personal evolution of the art critic, who attempted to establish a philosophically based art criticism. This text, which has been forgotten in the analyses of the critique of Romero Brest, is quite singular for showing two pivotal terms in the discourse of that decade: "conscience" and "destruction." Also, both are extensively quoted in bibliography about art in the 1960s. However, in this text, its sense is not literal —that which is generally given when they are understood from political practice—but more of a relationship between the artist with the materials, the image, and the idea.