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This short article reviews the exhibition of Jorge Gumier Maier held at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in December 1989. It describes the characteristics of the works shown, even the sensation of “desconcierto” [bewilderment] and “rabia” [anger] these works stirred up in the viewer.


This review enters into a dialogue with an article adjacent to it in Página/12 [Page/12] entitled “Cuando los costados encierran el centro. [When the Margins Contain the Center.] A leader of the periphery and two of his young followers establish two or three new guidelines for seeing daily life.” (See doc. no. 770086) (Tuesday, December 19, 1989, p. 18), also written by the journalist Miguel Briante (1944-97). In the other article, the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas [Gallery of the Ricardo Rojas Cultural Center] is characterized as a marginal space within the art milieu. (Note that “the Rojas” is a center for cultural outreach of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, while the Centro Cultural Recoleta is a space on the traditional exhibition circuit in Buenos Aires, with huge attendance.) The review of Jorge Gumier Maier’s show at the Recoleta establishes the difference between the Rojas and the Recoleta exhibition spaces right from the start: “In another space—aesthetic and geographic—although not far in its use of the materials, we find Gumier Maier.” The link made in this article between the two “polar” spaces through the figure of Jorge Gumier Maier (1953-) is important. It is a link based on the use this artist makes of his materials, which is the same, or at least “close” to that made by the artists whose works are in the Rojas exhibition at the same time. In this way, the article would seem to be questioning the concepts of “center” and “margin” based on the characteristics of the works. It is highly significant that the article fails to mention that the director of the Galería del Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas at the time was Gumier Maier himself.

Think about this, too: at the same time, Miguel Briante was editor of the visual arts section of the journal Página/12 and adviser to the Centro Cultural Recoleta (1989-1990). References to poetic art of the past—such as Pop art, Minimal art, and Concrete art (recreated in highly personal ways), as well as elements of kitsch—have been used to characterize the expressive resources of the “El Rojas” artists: Fabián Burgos, Graciela Hasper, Feliciano Centurión, Martín Di Girolamo, Alberto Goldestein, Sebastián Gordín, Miguel Harte, Agustín Inchausti, Luis Lindner, Nuna Magiante, Emiliano Miliyo, Esteban Pagés, Ariadna Pastorini, Marcelo Pombo, Cristina Schiavi, Enrique Marmora, Sergio Vila, Benito Laren, Omar Schiliro, Liliana Maresca and Alfredo Londaibere, etc. By the late 1990s, the artists who made up “el grupo del Rojas” [the Rojas group] were generally understood to be the representatives of “Argentine art of the 1990s.”

Natalia Pineau.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, Argentina.