Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
Editorial Categories [?]

The letter sent by artist Nicolás Rubió to Samuel Paz expresses his dissatisfaction due to the impossibility of carrying out Operación corpiño [The Bra Operation], an action that consisted of depositing a collection of bras and panties at the site where the Torcuato Di Tella Prize was being exhibited. The action was in overt opposition to the works shown by Aizenberg, Minujín, and Renart, and was stemming from the distortion of modern art provoked by a general aversion to sex. 


In 1960 and a few months after having created the Centro de Arte del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (ITDT) [Art Center of the Torcuato Di Tella Institute]—directed by a Council made up of Lionello Venturi, Ricardo Camino, Guido Di Tella and Jorge Romero Brest— the ITDT Prize was made possible. The purpose of this center was to cooperate in the diffusion and promotion of the visual arts and to keep in contact with other centers connected with production at both a national and an international level. Within this context, the Premio ITDT [ITDT Prize] was created to provide an opportunity for young Argentinean artists to enrich their experience abroad; nevertheless, its creation did not just allow for the awarding of the grant-prize, but it also spurred the circulation of international art in the local arena, becoming an important reference point for the visual arts renaissance of the time. This prize was awarded to national or international artists, with some variation depending on the year in question, until 1967. Beginning that year, it changed its name and became Experiencias Visuales [Visual Practices], and then just Experiencias [Practices] in 1968 and 1969.  

In 1963 Romero Brest resigned from the directorate of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts] and accepted a position as director of the ITDT Visual Arts Center. In 1964, the ITDT Prize was national and international, and the jury was: Clement Greenberg, Pierre Restany, and Jorge Romero Brest. 

Nicolás Rubió is an Argentinean painter, draftsman, and a graphic artist. 

This document shows the reaction of some artists regarding the Torcuato Di Tella Prize; particularly in reference to the tendencies at stake and the works presented. It is interesting to see that Samuel Paz, in the name of the institution, did not allow for the action Operación corpiño [The Bra Operation] to be carried out stating that the institution belonged to the private sector. However, the attitude of Rubió shows that artists viewed the ITDT as a space for confrontation. 

Cristina Rossi
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of Archivo di Tella, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivos Di Tella. Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Buenos Aires, Argentina.