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Synopsis

Exhibition catalog for Harte, Pombo, Suárez III (Buenos Aires: Fundación Banco Patricios, November, 4–27, 1992). It presents the biography of each of the displayed artists, Miguel Harte, Marcelo Pombo, and Pablo Suárez, their photos, and the list of works they presented. While also describing the presented works, Elena Oliveras’ text sketches an interpretation by questioning the reason for the union of these three artists, who present quite different images and who constitute neither a group nor a team. She finds the affinity in the fact that “they are moved by the same rebellious spirit when it came to conventions and assumptions, the same interest for the inversion of the senses and the need for an active practice of the critique of taste.”

Annotations

Elena Oliveras received a PhD in aesthetics; she is a professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, an art critic and independent curator. She has written for numerous national and international publications and has published a number of books.

The Fundación Banco Patricios was created in 1984 and one of the most important exhibition spaces during the 1990s. It closed its facilities in March 1998, with the bankruptcy of Banco Patricios.

Marcelo Pombo (1959–) and Miguel Harte (1961–) have been identified with what began to be called the “grupo del Rojas”; i.e., those the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas promoted between 1989 and the early 1990s.

When it comes to understanding the 1990s Argentinean art, the Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas acquires an important role. Founded in 1984, it is a cultural extension of the Universidad de Buenos Aires in which various activities developed, such as courses, conferences, film series, and the like. A few years after it opened in 1989, the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas was created in the university campus’s entrance hall, and was directed by artist and art critic Jorge Gumier-Maier. Shortly thereafter Magdalena Jitrik joined in 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” began to be included 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.”

Pablo Suárez (1937–2006), an important Argentinean artist with a long and acclaimed career, was linked to the Galería del Rojas since inception. In December 1989, he carried out in that space, along with Marcelo Pombo and Miguel Harte, the first joint exhibition of these three artists, which in time was named Harte, Pombo, Suárez I. Later, in 1990, Harte, Pombo, Suárez II was produced (Buenos Aires: Centro Cultural Recoleta, 1990), and in 2001, Harte, Pombo, Suárez IV (Buenos Aires: Galería Ruth Benzacar, from November 7 to December 7).

This document witnesses the joint trajectory of this “group” born in the Galería del Rojas itself.

Please see, in relation to Harte, Pombo, Suárez I, the article published by Miguel Briante in Página/12: “Cuando los costados encierran el centro. Un líder de la periferia y dos de sus jóvenes seguidores establecen dos o tres nuevas pautas para ver lo común.” [When the sides enclose the center. A peripheral leader and two of his young followers establish two or three new guidelines to perceive what is common.] (December 19, 1989, record 770086). On the other hand, in relation to Harte, Pombo, Suárez III, please see both the article published by Fabián Lebenglkik in Página/12—“La tercera es la vencida. Harte, Pombo, Suárez” [The third time is the last one. Harte, Pombo, Suarez] (November 17, 1992, record 769281)—as well as the exhibition invitation (record 769423).

Researcher
Natalia Pineau.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of Elena Olivera, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.