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Margarita Nelken reports on the Torres de Ciudad Satélite [Satellite City Towers] project that had been designed in tandem by Mathias Goeritz and the architect Luis Barragán. Although the art critic celebrates the innovative sculptural design of the Ciudad Satélite entrance (at the north exit of Mexico City) created by the architect Mario Pani, she does so by strictly comparing the aforementioned development with similar modern projects in Europe. Nelken finds that Las Torres has aesthetic roots in Mexico; that is, in “those unprecedented and audacious undertakings of the architectural-sculptural grandeur of the pre-Cortés era.


The Mexico-based Spanish critic, Margarita Nelken (1896-1968), was very interested in art that was integrated into public projects. Her enthusiasm for the work in tandem of Mathias Goeritz (1915-90) and architect Luis Barragán (1902-88) is based on their modernist principles, to which they add overtones of pre-Hispanic culture. 

The Torres de Ciudad Satélite were inaugurated in 1958. Years later, the architect Barragán unexpectedly took complete authority over the project. In addition to being a sculptor and painter, Goeritz promoted urban works produced in collaboration with various other artists. Examples of such projects include La Ruta de la Amistad [Friendship Path] in the southern outskirts of the city, an integral part of the XIX Olympics (1968), as well as the Espacio escultórico [Sculptural Space] (1978-80) in the southern part of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the same works in which the author took on a creative, secondary role.

Diana Briuolo
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Reproduced with permission of Margarita Salas de Paúl, Mexico City, Mexico
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional