The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Cayetano Córdova Iturburu defines Libero Badii's work from two different perspectives; on the one hand, he speaks of the robust plasticity of certain pieces, referring to their ancestral background, deeply rooted in the Pre-Colombian art in the continent. He describes other examples of Badii's work as explorations into the invention of contemporary art. He proposes that the theme of these sculptures is the essential duality of mankind.
Libero Badii (Arezzo, Italy, 1916-Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001) was a sculptor whose main output consisted of works of symbolic significance. During the 1950s, following a trip through Latin America, his work was influenced by Pre-Columbian art. He created the concept of "the sinister" as both a form of knowledge and a way of feeling. He named his artist studio-workshop Almataller [SoulShop].
In 1962 his work was exhibited at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts]. This document is dated November 1960.
Since the 1930s, Cayetano Córdova Iturburu (1902-77) was among the most respected art critics of the period, who spoke out in support of modern art from a left-wing perspective. In his review of Libero Badii's work, Córdova Iturburu defines Pre-Colombian art and invention involving contemporary expression as being the two underlying themes in the sculptor's production. His discovery of Pre-Colombian art (which later became the inspiration for his polychrome pieces) was something Badii shared with other Latin American artists, but in his opinion, it was not simply an iconographic or formal repertoire; it was the very bedrock of the Americas, which he understood as something "sinister" by virtue of being inaccessible to human beings.
This concept of "the sinister" also embodies an essentialist grasp of matter, which defines the generation of postwar artists and is thus shared by Aldo Paparella. For Argentinean artists—especially those who had migrated from Europe—traveling through Latin America was a mind altering experience, because it gave them a far broader perspective of the visual reality of the continent, thereby mitigating the cultural and international Euro-centrism that was so prevalent in Buenos Aires.