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Poet and essayist Saúl Yurkiévich identifies Nelson Blanco and Carlos Pacheco as two figurative artists who react against Informalism, although he tracks the influence of chromatic geometry in both. For Yurkievich, the dynamics of new painting asserts the major role of color while formally analyzing their work by pointing out similarities and differences. 


Carlos Pacheco (La Plata, 1932) was a member of “Grupo Sí” [Group Yes] in 1960 along with Alejandro Puente and César Paternosto, among others. In 1963, Pacheco obtained the Braque Prize, awarded by the Embassy of France in Argentina. In the 1970s, he produced geometric works, and returning later on to abstraction. Currently, he works at his workshop in La Plata.

Nelson Blanco (1934-99) was born in Tres Arroyos, Province of Buenos Aires. From the late 1950s on, Blanco participated in the Informalist movement of the city of La Plata. He was part of groups such as “Grupo Sí” [Group Yes] and “La Plata.” After obtaining a grant from the Braque Prize, he moved to France in 1965, where he lived for some time at Crêvecœur-le-Grand (Oise). His painting is characterized by the representation of both human and animal figures in spiral forms. 

Saúl Yurkievich (La Plata, 1931–Caumont-sur-Durance, 2005) lived in Paris beginning in the 1960s. A poet and essayist, Yurlievich was a college professor at the University of Paris VIII-Vincennes, in addition to several universities in the United States. He was recognized as one of the most recognized scholars in the writings of Julio Cortázar and was the will executor for his unpublished works in tandem with his wife, Gladis Anchieri. Yurkievich was in charge of the critical edition Julio Cortázar: mundos y modos [Julio Cortázar: Worlds and Ways]. 

This document is important in order to weigh the renewal of painting in La Plata, the capital of the province of Buenos Aires, in the 1960s. This city was pivotal for both the new geometry (Alejandro Puente, César Paternosto) and Conceptualism (Edgardo Antonio Vigo). In the works by Pacheco and Blanco, the phase of the Braque Prize undercores the breaking point with the Informalist movement represented by “Grupo Sí” [Group Yes], when they decided to return to figuration with abstract and chromatic elements, although quite distant from Puente and Paternosto’s primary structures. Moreover, this document allows us to investigate about the relationship between a outstanding essayist, such as Saúl Yurkiévich, and the visual artists from La Plata.

Roberto Amigo
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of the Private Archives of Gladis Yurkievich and sons, Paris, France.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires.