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Synopsis

The text informs about the curatorial characteristics, artists, and works that are presented at the exhibition organized by the Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires), which is sponsored by Página/12 (Buenos Aires), under the title La vuelta al Centro: los nuestros en las artes visuales contemporáneas [Return to the Center: Our People in the Contemporary Visual Arts]. In Lebenglik’s opinion, the show is composed of “teachers, young people, and enfants terribles,” who assure us that they will provide “a finished panorama of the local visual scene,” through which it will transform, at this moment, “the group of commercial galleries into a marginal circle.”

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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.

The Centro Cultural Recoleta is one of the exhibition spaces in Buenos Aires that has more of an influx of people because of its location and was consecrated within artistic circles. Important exhibitions, of national as well as international art, have developed and continue to be presented inside its halls.

The center-periphery discussion of the artistic scene in Buenos Aires can be followed through the critiques that appeared in Página/12 in the early 1990s. In this instance, the author exalts the capacity of the La vuelta al Centro: los nuestros en las artes visuales contemporáneas (Buenos Aires: Centro Cultural Recoleta, May 1990) exhibition for having grouped acclaimed artists and the “enfant terribles” of the moment in one place, to give proof, according to Lebenglik’s point of view, of a complete panorama of the visual arts’ scene of the times, a capacity that is not helped at all by the private sector, such as the galleries. In this sense, the article should be linked to others that appeared in the same newspaper, be it “La cuestión de los jóvenes” [The matter with the young] (January 23, 1990, p. 14, see record 764362) or “Preparados, listos, ya. Largadas” [Ready, Set, Go. Let go.] (January 23, 1990, record 770020), two more examples where the galleries are questioned for refusing to provide exhibition spaces for young emerging artists, including the “enfants terribles.” In this sense, the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas occupies a key place in the artistic milieu toward the late 1980s and the beginning of the following 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 at the entrance hall of the university 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.”

Researcher
Natalia Pineau
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of Fabián Lebenglik, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina.