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Synopsis

The article reviews the exhibition by artists Jorge Gumier-Maier, Benito Laren, Omar Schiliro, and Alfredo Londaibere in the Espacio Giesso, which took place in August 1992. Besides briefly describing the works of each of the artists, it makes a general interpretation of them in relation to the characteristics of the society in which they are inscribed: “It seems irrefutable that we live in a light period. The light products belong, beyond a doubt, to the context of appearances and simulation. They seem what they are. Present-day society…desires the artificial Art, [and] identifies more and more with ‘fiction’ and by and large ‘lightness’.” The work of these four artists is centered in that light modality, “with a programmatic conception founded in the ironic acceptance of the disquieting tendencies of contemporary culture.” In this “ironic” acceptance of “light” culture, Jorge López-Anaya interprets that these productions possess a critical nature of present-day society. Lastly, the article briefly reviews another exhibition by visual artist Silvia Young organized at the same time at the Espacio Giesso.

Annotations

Jorge López- Anaya, historian and art critic with a long career, has written for numerous national, as well as international, journals, and has published a diversity of books on Argentinean art.

 

The term light, coined by López-Anaya to describe the character, in this case, of the works by Jorge Gumier-Maier, Benito Laren, Omar Schiliro, and Alfredo Londaibere, had great repercussions and unfolded in two ways. On one hand, it was unjustly extended to all the artists identified as part of the “grupo del Rojas”; i.e. those the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas Gallery brought together between 1989 and the beginning of the 1990s. Among them, we can mention, in addition to those in the above-mentioned exhibition, Fabián Burgos, Graciela Hasper, Feliciano Centurión, Martín Di Girolamo, Alberto Goldestein, Sebastián Gordín, Miguel Harte, Agustín Inchausti, Magdalena Jitrik, Luis Lindner, Nuna Magiante, Emiliano Miliyo, Esteban Pagés, Ariadna Pastorini, Marcelo Pombo, Cristina Schiavi, Enrique Marmora, Liliana Maresca, and Sergio Vila. On the other hand, the term was understood and re-used, with a pejorative trait indeed, to refer to this group’s productions, which by the middle of the decade was generally accepted as representative of  “the 1990s Argentinean art.” Under these circumstances, the term “light art” became more relevant in art discussions during that period.

 

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.

 

The Espacio Giesso was one of the “alternative” exhibition spaces during the 1990s. Many young artists exhibited their work in this room.

Researcher
Natalia Pineau.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of the personal archives of Manuela López Anaya, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Location
Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina.