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    The Question 17 years later = La interrogante : Diecisiete Años Después / Jacqueline Barnitz

    Plástica Latinoamericana : Revista de la Liga de Arte de San Juan (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- No.12 (Sep. 1984)

    p. 17-20, 96-98 : ill.
    English; Spanish
    Journal article – Essays

    Barnitz, Jacqueline. “The Question 17 years later”/“La interrogante: diecisiete años después,” Plástica Latinoamericana (special edition of Plástica. Revista de la Liga de Arte de San Juan), (San Juan, Puerto Rico), vol. 1, no. 12 (September 1984): 17-20, 96-98.                    

Editorial Categories [?]

Seventeen years after writing the article, “The Question of Latin American Art: Does It Exist?” (see doc no. 805617) in the 1960s, Jacqueline Barnitz wonders again about the question of the identity of Latin American art. She suggests that it clearly exists when articles are written about it and symposia are organized to discuss it. In her opinion, when articles are published about the subject, that proves that Latin American art is at the same level as art from any other Western country. Barnitz says: “the question of Latin American identity will not be resolved until their critical tools are as firmly established and recognized as their art.” 


Plástica magazine asked Jacqueline Barnitz to re-examine the question she asked in the article she wrote seventeen years earlier, in 1967, in which she explored the concept of Latin American identity.

This issue of Plástica magazine was devoted to art in Latin America; it was edited by Ernesto Ruiz de la Mata, the Puerto Rican critic who directed the Centro de Documentación de Arte Latinoamericano [Center for the Documentation of Latin American Art] in Puerto Rico in the 1980s. Some of the articles in this issue are lectures presented at conferences and symposia, which were collected and published here for the first time. Other essays were selected by their authors, unbound by any particular editorial criteria. This was the first time that a Puerto Rican magazine addressed questions concerning contemporary Latin American art.  

Plástica magazine, where this article appeared, is one of the few art magazines published with any degree of continuity in Puerto Rico. It began modestly enough in 1968 as the Boletín de la Liga de Arte de San Juan [Journal of the Art League of San Juan]; ten years later it changed its name to Plástica—revista de la Liga de estudiantes de San Juan [Visual Arts: The Magazine of the Students’ League of San Juan]. Notwithstanding the specific focus of its title, the magazine’s 21 issues have covered a wide range of subjects in the fields of Puerto Rican and Latin American art, including 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 original editorial board included Hélène Saldaña, Delta Picó, Cordelia Buitrago, and J. M. García Segovia. The magazine has published many critical essays by major Puerto Rican thinkers, as well as the writings of some of the best-known Latin American artists and art critics such as Luis Camnitzer, Damián Bayón, Jacqueline Barnitz, Samuel Cherson, Joseph Alsop, Omar Rayo, and Ricardo Pau Llosa.   

Flavia Marichal
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of the Private Archives of Jacqueline Barnitz, Austin Texas USA, and Plástica, Liga de Arte de San Juan, Puerto Rico
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras