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This article explains that the Federación Argentina de Entidades de Artistas Plásticos [Argentine Federation of Visual Arts Groups] became active again, after a long break. One of the projects on the group’s agenda is to review modifications to the rules that govern national, provincial, and private salons in Argentina. The article also mentions that neither the Sociedad Argentina de Artistas Plásticos [Argentine Society of Visual Artists] nor the Mutualidad de Estudiantes y Egresados de Bellas Artes [Fine Arts Students and Graduates Benefit Society] sent delegates to the meetings called by the Federation.


Argentina’s Salón Nacional de Artes Plásticas [National Salon for the Visual Arts] was founded in 1911, and its regulations were modified whenever it was deemed necessary to do so. In 1968 and 1969 the Salón Nacional included the Sección “Investigaciones Visuales” [“Visual Research” Section] in order to provide space for new forms of experimental art (kinetic objects, Pop, etc.), which in turn led to the Certamen Anual de Investigaciones Visuales [Annual Visual Research Contest] in 1970 and 1971. At the II Certamen Nacional de Investigaciones Visuales [2nd National Visual Research Contest], organized during the de facto administration of Lieutenant General Alejandro Agustín Lanusse (1971–73), the authorities censured the works that had been awarded grand runner-up prize and first prize. The government used Executive Decree 5696/71 to exclude the prize-winning works from the exhibition and declare them “unacceptable” due to their “manifest ideological intent.” As a result, neither of the jury’s two prizes was awarded. The government’s decision was condemned by artists and by certain cultural organizations, and led to several lawsuits.

La Opinión, the Argentine newspaper founded by Jacobo Timerman in 1971, was critical of the government and its actions. In 1977 it was closed and expropriated by the de facto regime of Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla (1976–81). In turn, Hugo Monzón was an Argentine art critic; he was also the director of the Museo de Artes Plásticas [Museum of Visual Arts] Eduardo Sívori, and was in charge of the Visual Arts Section of La Opinión.

This document was chosen because it records the concern expressed by the Federación Argentina de Entidades de Artistas Plásticos [Argentine Federation of Visual Arts Groups] in its demand to examine salon regulations after visual artists declared a boycott against the Salón Nacional in protest against the censorship clause in the regulation. This document also mentions that the general meeting of the Sociedad Argentina de Artistas Plásticos [Argentine Association of Visual Artists] decided not to participate in the Salón Nacional. The decision was published in La Opinión on August 1, 1972. La Opinión also published the message repudiating the Salón Nacional on August 15, 1972.

Cristina Rossi.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of the personal archives of Hugo E. Monzón, Buenos Aires, R. Argentina
Instituto de Historia Argentina y Americana "Dr. Emilio Ravignani".