The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The article analyzes the situation of the Argentinean contemporary art scene. On one hand, the author states the lack of exhibition spaces available for young artists to show their work; except the Centro Cultural Ciudad de Buenos Aires, the CAyC, the ICI (Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana), Centro Cultural de España, besides the Álvaro Castagnino, Alberto Elías y Adriana Rosemberg galleries, together with the Banco Patricios and the Banco de Crédito Argentino foundations. On the other hand, Lebenglik reveals that the few gallery owners “that get a move on and search…perform a balancing act between two extremes: making a mistake in their selection, or instead, letting a good artist pass through and approach them to offer his work to him.” In turn, the feature writer compares the actions of the Brazilian bourgeoisie—who invest their financial surplus in art—to the local bourgeois, which are totally different, thus affecting the modus operandi of the artists in each of these two countries. In his opinion, “In Brazil…painters and sculptors form a common front and are more supportive among themselves;” while isolationism predominates in Argentina. In relation to this latter point of view, Lebenglik brings to our attention the acknowledgment obtained by Argentinean painter Guillermo Kuitca during 1989. He considers him “the young figure of the year,” in relation to what the new year seemed to be presenting: “The year 1990, opening up toward sculpture and objects, shows up with a better perspective, where the pressure and attraction of the context will affect art works in a very notorious manner and artists’ exhaustion, because of having moved by themselves, perhaps will prepare the terrain for a move from the Argentinean young art.”
Art critic Fabián Lebenglik reviewed the exhibitions that the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas housed from inception through his articles in the visual arts section of the Página/12 newspaper. This article has a special relevance because of the “futuristic” projection that Lebenglik develops regarding the traits of the 1990s Argentinean arts and artistic media. The “exhaustion” of painting as an artistic medium compared to sculpture and objects, plus the concerted actions of artists inside the scene, make it difficult not to connect his discourse to the character that the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas acquired in the Buenos Aires visual scene during the mentioned decade.
The Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, founded in 1984, is a cultural extension of the Universidad de Buenos Aires. The Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas was created in 1989 in the entrance hall of the campus, directed by artist and art critic Jorge Gumier-Maier, who was joined shortly thereafter by Magdalena Jitrik as an assistant. What began as an underground space within the Buenos Aires artistic scene immediately developed great visibility between 1991 and 1992. The artists from “El Rojas” (Fabián Burgos, Graciela Hasper, Feliciano Centurión, Martín Di Girolamo, Alberto Goldestein, Sebastián Gordín, Miguel Harte, Agustín Inchausti, Luis Lindner, Nuna Magiante, Emiliano Miliyo, Esteban Pagés, Ariadna Pastorini, Marcelo Pombo, Cristina Schiavi, Enrique Marmora, Sergio Vila, Benito Laren, Omar Schiliro, and Alfredo Londaibere, Liliana Maresca, among many others) began to be incorporated into the programs of key exhibition spaces, such as the ICI (Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana), the Centro Cultural de España, and the Galería Ruth Benzacar. The reference to poetics of the past, such as Pop art, minimalism, Concrete art (under extremely personal reformulations), besides elements of kitsch, have helped to characterize the resources of expression of such artists. Toward the end of the decade, the artists who made up “el grupo del Rojas” were grouped, in a generic manner, as the representatives of the “1990s Argentinean art.”