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In Crimen es ornamento [Crime is Ornamental], the text of the exhibition catalogue of the homonymous show carried out in the Centro Cultural Parque España, Rosario (Argentina), between September 8 and October 2, 1994, Carlos Basualdo links the works of the exhibiting artists—Fabián Burgos, Nicolás Guagnini, Fabio Kacero, Jorge Gumier-Maier, and Pablo Siquier—with Concrete art: “there are repeated references to the use of an artistic knowledge that can be traced in Argentinean Concretism. Some secrets are spoken about; others are not mentioned. Remains, ruins, ornaments are staged. The one who speaks is a foreign body that is incorporated in that silent will, whose eloquence is an exercise in deadly rhetoric.”


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.”

This same text by Carlos Basualdo is found in the catalogue for the Crimen es Ornamento exhibition [Crime is the Ornament] (Rosario: Centro Cultural Parque de España, from September 8 to October 2, 1994) in which, as opposed to Crimen & Ornamento [Crime and Ornament] (Buenos Aires: Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, October 1994), Graciela Hasper and Omar Shiliro did not participate.

Natalia Pineau.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of the author, Philadelphia, PAPA
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.