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.
This article deals with the work of the different Spanish artists that Damián Bayón had the opportunity to analyze during his stay in Barcelona, where he was reporting for Ver y estimar. He covered the sets and costumes that Salvador Dalí designed for Don Juan Tenorio; Joaquín Mir’s retrospective show; Eduardo Gregorio; Enrique Planasdurá and Santí Surós. Based on his analysis of Joaquín Mir’s work, Bayón declares that “the great artists are those for whom, regardless of the environmental circumstances that made them possible, there is nothing left but that valor-más [sic] [greater value], in a word: everything that is not a contingency” and he clarifies that “the present can only intuit this, but history knows it with certainty.”
Damián Carlos Bayón (1915–95) was an art critic, teacher and author of numerous books. He held a Ph.D in history and was a disciple of Jorge Romero Brest (1905-89); in 1948, he became one of the founders of the magazine Ver y estimar, for which Brest served as editor. The following year, Bayón moved to Paris, and continued to collaborate on the magazine until 1955 (the final year of its publication). He then began working with theoretician Pierre Francastel. In the next two decades, he became professor in the University of Texas at Austin. Ver y estimar had two publication eras: the first encompassed its first thirty-four issues, published between 1948 and 1953; the second stage, between 1954 and 1955, consisted of ten issues. This publication was meant to be educational with regard to art criticism, for its readers and for the students of Romero Brest who collaborated on the magazine. Its articles dealt with artists, exhibitions and problems within the local milieu and international scene contexts, as well as with different historical periods. This article by Bayón permits insight into his method for understanding the problem of artistic creation, as well as his thoughts on the importance of historical distance for the proper understanding of aesthetic manifestations.