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The critic for the newspaper La Prensa [The Press], Ernesto Ramallo, writes an unfavorable critique of the works presented at the Premio Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Prize]. His review tolerates the works of Federico Manuel Peralta Ramos, Delia Puzzovio and Pérez Celis, although it expresses some objections to them; but, he finds the acceptance of León Ferrari’s works incomprehensible, considering them unworthy of attention had they not pertained to the competition’s theme. He also emphasizes the demagogic-like nature of Ferrari’s work.


The Premio Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute Prize] was established in 1960, a few months after the creation of the Centro de Arte del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [The Art Center of the Torcuato Di Tella Institute] (ITDT). The latter organization was run by a board composed of Lionello Venturi, Ricardo Camino, Guido Di Tella and Jorge Romero Brest. The Centro was dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of the visual arts as well as to maintaining contact with other centers linked to national and foreign production. The Premio ITDT was created within this framework with the intention of awarding opportunities to young Argentinean artists to enrich their experiences abroad. The Premio ITDT not only awarded prizes/scholarships, but also favored the dissemination of international art within the local scene. This made it an important institution for the renovation of the visual arts at the time. The prize was awarded to both national and international artists until 1967, with a few variations according to the given year. In 1967 it became known as the Experiencias Visuales [Visual Practices]. Later, in 1968 and 1969 it became known solely as Experiencias [Practices]. In 1963 Romero Brest resigned as director of the Museo National de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts] and accepted the position of director of the Centro de Artes Visuales [Center of Visual Arts] of the ITDT. In 1965, the Premio ITDT was both National and International in scope. The jury members included the Italian critic Giulio Carlo Argan, who had replaced Lionello Venturi as the ITDT advisor, the British curator and critic Alan Bowness, and Romero Brest.

This source was selected because it documents the public debate carried out against León Ferrari within the national press based upon the critique that rejected the artistic value of his work Civilización Occidental y Cristiana [Western and Christian Civilization], as well as the exhibition held at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella.

Cristina Rossi.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of Archivo di Tella, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo Jorge Romero Brest, Instituto de Teoría e Historia del Arte Julio E. Payró, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires.