Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this brief note, Libero Badii describes the impact of his travels in the highlands of Bolivia and the awakening of his desire for a "sculptural communication" concerning three themes: family, students, and siblings. He mentions his later trip to Europe, as well as the need for a conceptual rethinking, as expressed in his bas-relief Un día [One Day]. 

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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 studio-workshop Almataller [SoulShop].

This document is important because it refers to Líbero Badii's Latin American travels, the first of which he took in 1945 upon completing his studies at the Escuela de Bellas Artes [School of Fine Arts]. This was when he first began thinking about his concept of "sculptural communication." His bas-relief Un día [One Day] (1951) is a key piece because it heralds a change in formal treatments. This was the point at which he began to think about Latin American questions in terms of problems and visual solutions, although he had not yet managed to arrange them into a conceptual system, as he did later on with his idea of "the sinister." This text is important because it shows how, at an aesthetic level, Badii was constantly thinking about the nexus between the Americas and Europe, as well as about how his materials and subjects should reflect that relationship. At this stage he was still using the symbolic motifs of the post war period (mother, family, etc.) as the basis for his "sculptural communication," which laid the groundwork for the 1970s totemic assemblages of polychrome wood he created later on.

Researcher
Roberto Amigo.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of Marta Rosa and Ana Luisa Badii, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.