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In this document, the art critic Jorge Romero Brest writes about the work of César Paternosto and Alejandro Puente, discussing the concepts of color and image. Romero Brest emphasizes the treatment of the irregular frames that simultaneously suggest the appearance of a painting and an object; he names them “portable walls.”


Jorge Romero Brest (1905–1989) served as director of the magazine Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] (1948–1955). He was named Controller of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1955, a post he held until his resignation in 1963. That same year he became director of the Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Di Tella, for which he had previously served as an advisor. 

This text by Romero Brest is really interesting for discussing the concept of color within the work of César Paternosto (1931) and Alejandro Puente (1933), who had exhibited the “new geometry” at Galería Lirolay in 1964. In 1967, both artists took up residence in New York. That same year they participated in the exhibition Visión elemental [Elemental Vision] (1967), in which they presented minimalist conceptual proposals alongside those of other artists. Romero Brest analyzes the problem of color in the works of both artists without the usual references to Latin America that became common in the commentary on constructive painting beginning in the 1970s. He analyzes the formal character of the works including an analysis based on the concept of primary structures. 

This document is of interest for analyzing the complexity of Argentinean art in the mid-1960s and also the beginning of the shaped canvas trend, which had the intention of advancing into the space of the spectator. Starting with the works by Paternosto and Puente, Romero Brest defined the proposal as “portable walls.”

Roberto Amigo.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires.