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Jorge Romero Brest writes that the jury he was a member of awarded Rómulo Macció the International Prize from the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (1964), in which he distinguished himself from among the works of foreign artists. By the way and in overt opposition, a local jury denied him the national prize. The critic makes a formal analysis of Macció’s work in order to say: “what it is like” instead of “how much it is worth.” Romero Brest considers it to be current because it is asserted on an anti-historical present.
Jorge Romero Brest (1905–89), director of the journal Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] (1948–55), was appointed Controller at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1955. He served as its director from 1956 until his resignation in 1963, the year he assumed the position of director of the Centro de Artes Visuales [Visual Arts Center] of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella where he served as an advisor. Rómulo Macció (Buenos Aires, 1931) was part of the Otra Figuración [Another Figuration] group along with Luis Felipe Noé, Jorge de la Vega, and Ernesto Deira. In 1963, upon his return from Paris, with a scholarship from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes [National Fund for the Arts], Macció obtained the International Prize from the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella with a jury made up of Jorge Romero Brest, William Sandberg, and Jacques Lassaigne. The prize consisted of 3,000 dollars. The Instituto Torcuato Di Tella National Prize was awarded that same year to another artist from the Otra Figuración [Another Figuration]: Luis Felipe Noé (in this case, it consisted of 250 dollars a month and the traveling expenses to a destination of his choice); an issue controversially mentioned by Romero Brest in this document. Macció’s production was already known internationally due to his participation in the Paris, São Paulo, and Venice biennials. He also obtained the Guggenheim fellowship at that time. In 1963, he exhibited with the Otra Figuración at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires and individually with this exhibition at Bonino. In this show, Macció presented his series Vivir [To Live], made up of 13 paintings, in which he explored different frame formats (round and octagonal). The painting Vivir: sin seguro de idem [To Live: Without Life Insurance] is notable in this series, as it references the murder of president John F. Kennedy. The catalogue includes a brief text—in French language—by another of the members of the jury, William Sandberg, in addition to the one written by Romero Brest himself.