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.
Antonio Berni writes about painting in Quito during the colonial period, describing the quality of its works and the themes in [seen in] cloisters and churches. He places particular emphasis on the Prophets series that Gorívar painted at the Iglesia de la Compañía.
One of the most outstanding creators in 20th century Argentina is undoubtedly the Rosario born Antonio Berni (1905-81). He studied in Europe beginning in 1925 and while living in Paris he connected to the surrealist avant-garde as well as to communist ideology. Upon his return to Argentina, he exhibited surrealist works at the Amigos del Arte [Friends of Art] in 1932. The following year Berni joined the Equipo Polígrafo [Polygraphic Team] (organized by David Alfaro Siqueiros) that went on to create the mural Ejercicio Plástico [Visual Arts Exercise] at Don Torcuato, in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. He developed his theory of Nuevo Realismo [New Realism], art with a political and social commitment, which was based on a transcendent realism. In 1944 Berni formed the Taller de Arte Mural [Mural Art Workshop]. During the 1950s, he created paintings of the peasantry, in particular those of the northern province of Santiago del Estero, which gave rise to his Juanito Laguna series of narrative collage paintings. In 1962 the artist won the Grand Prize for Engraving and Drawing at the Venice Biennale. The following year, Berni began his Ramona Montiel series. During the 1960s and 1970s—at the same time that he was continuing to produce paintings, collages and engravings—he created objects, installations and happenings; he also explored different stylistic variations of realist figuration. This document is of interest because it contains Berni’s reflections on colonial mural painting in Quito exemplified by Javier Gorívar (b. 1665) and indigenous art—two genres that Berni’s work updated within contemporary art. The concept of murals in a religious setting becomes central to the last stage of Berni’s work, occurring shortly before his death.