The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Following a trip through South America, José Luis Cuevas published this article to announce that in many countries there was no longer any interest in the “rubble” of the Mexican School of painting and its nationalist inclinations. In Venezuela, for example, the painter Alejandro Otero is at the forefront of a serious, important movement of non-figurative art. In Peru there is also another sense of rejection for the native approach because of the limitations it imposed upon artistic expression. In Chile the artists are decidedly progressive and considered the Mexican School of painting to be absolutely in decline; Cuevas had heard similar opinions in Uruguay. In Argentina, in turn, the painters cultivated their art independent of demagogic temptations dressed up in nationalism.
José Luis Cuevas (b. 1934) began a propaganda campaign that continues to exist to this day against nationalism and the Mexican School of painting. On his travels to different cities in South America he interviewed young painters, most of whom rejected the nationalist, demagogic trend. Comparing the attitudes of those artists and their position in the debate between figuration and abstraction, Cuevas arrived at the conclusion that while differences might be found in all the countries he visited, the debates felt somehow less antagonistic than they did in Mexico, where one sensed the presence of a dictatorship and a monopoly that precluded the unfettered development of new artistic languages.