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.
In this essay, Liliana Porter discusses the work she presented at the Museo de Bellas Artes [Museum of Fine Arts] in Caracas in January 1969, at the exhibition The New York Graphic Workshop. She includes some biographical information and a list of her solo and group exhibitions.
Liliana Porter (b. 1941) was born in Buenos Aires, and began studying art at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano [National School of Fine Arts]. In 1958 she and her family moved to Mexico City, where she enrolled at the Universidad Iberoamericana and took classes from the German artist Mathias Goeritz (1915–90), specializing in printmaking with Guillermo Silva Santamaría. Her work during this period was the basis of her earliest exhibitions. She returned to Buenos Aires in 1961 and remained there until 1964, continuing her art training with Fernando López Anaya and Ana María Moncalvo. In 1964 she moved to New York City where she joined forces with Luis Camnitzer and José Guillermo Castillo to start the New York Graphic Workshop (NYGW, 1964–65), a space where classes were held and other artists’ works were printed. It was also a place where artists gathered to discuss printmaking and its role in contemporary society, which led to a variety of group projects. The workshop closed in about 1970. In 1975, Porter and Camnitzer, who were married at that time, opened the Studio Camnitzer-Porter in Valdottavo (Lucca). After they separated, the studio became the Studio Camnitzer. Liliana Porter currently lives and works in Rhinebeck, New York state.
The parameters proposed by the NYGW are particularly helpful in understanding the development of Liliana Porter’s work during the late 1960s, when she began to use non-traditional materials such as acetate and Plexiglas, produced offset versions of her prints, created environment installations, and included “actual” materials just like nails and threads in her works. All these techniques were characteristic of a re-conceptualizing of the graphic image. At this NYGW exhibition at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Porter installed an environment that consisted of covering the walls with the image of a crumpled, wrinkled sheet of paper, an offset version in white varnish of one of her prints. It was called Ambientación de la arruga [Wrinkle Environment]. There were also a number of blocks of sheets of paper attached to the wall; moreover, some of the sheets of paper were crumpled and scattered on the floor below. This essay reveals Porter’s approach to her environment installation, and provides insights into how she expressed the concepts that were previously stipulated by the NYGW.