Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

The Puerto Rican critic Efraín Barradas writes about the full schedule of exhibitions in the United States, where he lives; according to him very few include Latin American art, since little is known about Latin American artists and their work. Be that as it may, he reviews three important exhibitions presented in 1987 that did deal with that subject. Barradas wonders about the reason for this recent interest, and after reviewing each of the exhibitions, he criticizes the curators because, in his opinion, they neither know nor respect Latin American art, and therefore present it out of context. He nonetheless acknowledges that these exhibitions are important cultural events that contribute to a higher awareness of Latin American art.   

Annotations

The exhibitions to which Efraín Barradas referred, which were presented in 1987, were: Recent Developments in Latin American Drawings, organized by José Gómez Sicre for the Art Institute of Chicago; Art of the Fantastic: Latin America, 1920–1987, organized by Holliday T. Day and Hollister Sturges at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and The First America: Selections from the Nancy Sayles Day Collection of Latin American Art, organized by John Stringer at the museum of the Rhode Island School of Design. For a review of the exhibition, Art of the Fantastic, see doc. No. 1065386.

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.

Researcher
Flavia Marichal
Team
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Credit
Courtesy of Efraín Barradas, Gainesville, FL
Location
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras