Plástica (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- Vol. 2, no. 17 (Sep. 1987)
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Uruguayan artist and critic Luis Camnitzer asserts that the authorities that control the government of a colonized country determine its art and also dictate the principles underlying its education; any opposition is disregarded. During certain periods, anything even remotely connected to the left—whether that connection was real or imagined—was written off. The author provides an overview of the educational models put forth by different philosophies of art at different times, like those of the French Academy, the Vorkurs and the Bauhaus. Camnitzer does not believe that there is a distinct identity common to Latin American countries. In his view, Latin American artists, unlike artists from developed and independent countries, have been trained to follow the “colonial status quo,” which as a principle overlooks questions of identity. Camnitzer closes by stating that “art education must take place in the context of socio-economic analysis” in order to foster the development of an independent identity that bears fruit on the local level.
This article was published in New Art Examiner 14, no. 1 (Sept. 1986), Washington, D.C. The Liga de Arte de San Juan [Art League of San Juan] requested permission to reproduce the article in its magazine Plástica.
Plástica magazine, where this review was published, was an art publication that appeared fairly regularly in Puerto Rico. It began modestly enough in 1968, as the newsletter of the Liga de arte de San Juan [San Juan Art League], but changed its name in 1978 to Plástica revista de la Liga de estudiantes de San Juan [San Juan Student League Visual Arts Magazine]. Its very specific title notwithstanding, the twenty-one issues of the magazine explored a wide range of subjects within the broad parameters of Puerto Rican and Latin American art, filling its pages with retrospective coverage of subjects, such as the V Bienal de San Juan del grabado latinoamericano y del Caribe [5th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints] (1981), Puerto Rican architecture, and Latin American visual arts. The first editorial board of the magazine included Hélène Saldaña, Delta Picó, Cordelia Buitrago, and J.M. García Segovia. In addition to the many essays written by top Puerto Rican thinkers, the magazine published contributions from some of the leading Latin American artists and critics, such as Luis Camnitzer, Damián Bayón, Jacqueline Barnitz, Samuel Cherson, Joseph Alsop, Omar Rayo, and Ricardo Pau Llosa, among many others.