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This critique emphasizes the search for Modern art undertaken by the artists at an exhibition mounted at the Asociación de los Amigos del Arte [Friends of Art Association] circa 1930); they were Antonio Berni, Lino Enea Spilimbergo,Horacio Butler and Aquiles Badi. It indicates the different characteristics of each artist while also highlighting his artistic value. 


In the 1920s the modernization of the arts in Argentina was going through one its most consequential stages. Following the breakthrough of the artists linked to the magazine Martín Fierro (Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971), Xul Solar (1887-1963) and Norah Borges (1901-1998)), Alfredo Guttero (1882-1932), and the local artists who had been educated in Paris (Aquiles Badi (1894-1976), Horacio Butler (1897-1983), Héctor Basaldúa (1895-1976), Raquel Forner (1902-1988), Alfredo Bigati (1898-1964), Antonio Berni (1905-1981) and Lino Enea Spilimbergo (1896-1964) emerged on the arts scene toward the end of the decade. At the same time, exhibition spaces were also being modernized (Nuevo Salón [New Salon] and Salón de Independientes [Salon for Independent Artists], among others). The Asociación Amigos del Arte founded in 1924, stood out from among these agents of change. The association developed an agenda in which “new art” was given priority; this policy was epitomized in the 1928 exhibition of works by Butler, Badi, Berni, and Spilimbergo. This show also marked the stage prior to the artistic and political confrontation of these four artists; Butler and Badi would become the spokespersons for “pure art,” in contrast to Berni and Spilimbergo, who would become the leaders of Realism and political art.  

This document is a critique by the press of the aforementioned exhibition. It is significant because it specifies the individual characteristics within the panorama of “new art.” 

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