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Synopsis

Carlos Basualdo links the works gathered in this exhibition, The rational twist [(New York: Apex Art, February, 1996) with the “memory” of Argentinean Concrete art; almost nonexistent, as such, for economically developed countries, since, at the time, “the power relations precluded receptivity,” and barely known—even in Buenos Aires—due to “years of indifference, promoted by chronic authoritarianism and the social and economic crisis in which Argentina has been progressively trapped and which violently and cruelly increased in the years of the military dictatorship.” Through this critical, ironic, fragmented, and distant memory, Fabián Burgos, Nicolás Guagnini, Jorge Gumier-Maier, Graciela Hasper, Fabio Kacero, Omar Schiliro, and Pablo Siquier built their works. In them, “geometry [is combined] with references to Pop, with an aesthetic that is attentive, down to the detail, to the production conditions in which it develops.” This can be explained, according to the author, by the fact that “these artists have understood that the background on which their work is displayed is fundamentally the fluctuating game of ideologies. The works therefore do not cease to look back to their references as an important part of determined ideological contexts.” From this perspective, Basualdo stops by the production of each one of the mentioned artists and especially Raúl Lozza (1911–), an artist from the 1940s Concrete art generation, and who was also included in this show with the intention of “registering his impact in the works of the younger artists, as well as documenting, if only in a…succint and fragmentary way, the development of his work.”

Annotations

Art critic and current curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Carlos Basualdo, began his career as a critic in the art section of the Rosario/12 daily, the Rosarian edition of the Buenos Aires daily Página/12

 

The artists Fabián Burgos, Nicolás Guagnini, Fabio Kacero, Jorge Gumier-Maier, and Pablo Siquier have been identified (more or less, as may be the case) with what became known as the “grupo del Rojas;” i.e., those which the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas—an underground space within the artistic milieu in Buenos Aires since inception—sponsored between 1989 and the early 1990s.

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.”

Raúl Lozza, as explained in the text, was a founding father of the Asociación de Arte Concreto — Invención [Concrete Art and Invention Association] in 1945, and created in theory and practice Perceptivism around 1948.

 

Except Lozza, the artists included in this exhibition are the same as those presented in Crimen & Ornamento (Buenos Aires: Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, October, 1994), whose exhibition catalogue presents a text by Carlos Basualdo as well (see record 769137).

 

This text is significant because it deals with an international presentation by the aforementioned artists.

Researcher
Natalia Pineau.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of the author, Philadelphia, PA
Location
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.