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.
Jorge Glusberg authors this text about postfiguration, mentioning the precedents of this aesthetic viewpoint, along with other historical movements. Moreover, the theoretical aspects of representation, reality, and appearances are analyzed.
In the 1970s, during the Argentinean military dictatorship, a post-figurative aesthetic viewpoint developed. This approach includes several variants of realism. The main exhibition of this genre was held in 1979 at the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino in Rosario. In 1982, with the country already in the midst of a democratic transition following the Falklands War, this show was produced as homage to Antonio Berni, who had passed away the previous year. There are two significant absences in this exhibition: sculptor Alberto Heredia and painter Jorge Álvaro, both members of the original exhibiting group of the Rosario show.
This text, signed by Jorge Glusberg and preceded by a brief text by Guillermo Whitelow, attempts to delineate a genealogy for the members this group, derived from another group of artists, the Otra Figuración. The goal was to legitimize figurative pictorial production, thus providing a theoretical framework for the political representation.
This text is of great importance in order to understand the adaptations in the visual art field since the late 1970s with the displacement of conceptual art.
At the beginning of the decade, the CAyC, Centro de Arte y Comunicación, [Art and Communication Center] directed by Jorge Glusberg, had been the promoter of the "systems art" concept, which explains why this text presents figurative painting within the context of "systems art." Moreover, the dilemma confronting the "appearance of reality" versus "the reality of appearance" is presented in terms of representation itself. Throughout the theoretical discussion the political charge of works is lost in artists such as Diana Dowek or Norberto Gómez,. Instead they rather affirm the imaginative character of the artist’s consciousness.
The artists Mildred Burton, Diana Dowek, Norberto Gómez, Hugo Sbernini, and Elsa Soibelman participated in the 1982 exhibitions La Postfiguración and La Nueva Imagen. In these exhibitions, they express the attempt to sustain a figurative tradition in Argentina in accordance with the return of painting in the international artistic scene in the early-1980s, even though they more readily identified with the 1970s resurgence of the realism.