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    El estado del arte latinoamericano en Europa / Damián Bayón

    Plástica Latinoamericana (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- Vol. 1,  no. 12 (Sep. 1984)

    p. 35-38
    Journal article – Essays
    Bayón, Damián . "El estado del arte latinoamericano en Europa." Plástica Latinoamericana (San Juan, Puerto Rico), vol. 1,  no. 12 (September 1984): 35-38.
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The Argentine critic Damián Bayón briefly summarizes the state of Latin American art in Europe. Many artists are there for just a short time, they come and then leave; most are men and the majority live in Paris. Most are painters, although there are also sculptors, illustrators, and graphic artists. Bayón divides them into artistic styles: abstract; figurative; lyrical; kinetic and geometric; neo-figurative; sociopolitical figuration; surrealist; and conceptual. He concludes that although most of these artists attract little attention in their voluntary exile, their art has had an impact in Latin America.

The artists mentioned here are: A. Fernández Muro, Sarah Grilo, S. De Castro, J.C. Langlois, Luis Tomasello, Francisco Sobrino, Demarco, Ernesto Deira, Luis Felipe Noé, Rómulo Macció, R. Aizenberg, Pucciarelli, María Helguera, Marino Di Teana, Rodolfo Krasno, Delia Cugat, S. Camporeale, Cristina Martínez, Lea Lublin, María Orensanz, Carlos Kusnir, Nicolás García Uriburu, Antonio Seguí, F. Maza, E. Jonquières, Julio Le Parc, Marta Boto, Alicia Penalba, J. Vañarsky, GregorioVardánega (all from Argentina); Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Héctor Poleo (from Venezuela); Gracia Barrios, José Balmes, N. Antúnez, E. Zañarto, Claudio Bravo, Roberto Matta, Marta Colvin (from Chile); Gamarra, Novoa, and Broglia (from Uruguay); Fernando Botero, Luis Caballero, Darío Morales, Emma Reyes (from Colombia); Juan Soriano (from Mexico); Wifredo Lam and Cárdenas (from Cuba); Braun, Guzmán, and Sánchez (from Peru).


Damián Carlos Bayón (1915–1995) was a visiting professor of art history at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras campus from 1953 to 1958. In January 1954 he delivered two lectures, “Arquitectura y Paisaje en Europa: Francia, España, Italia” [Architecture and Landscape in Europe: France, Spain, and Italy] and “La concepción del espacio en la pintura antigua y moderna” [The Conception of Space in Ancient and Modern Painting]. From June 1955 through January 1956, he traveled in Europe, gathering material for his classes while on paid leave from the University of Puerto Rico. He would then draw on that material to write on the visual arts. His contract was cancelled, effective August 18, 1958. (Inactive dossier, First batch, Box B-41, Central Archive, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras campus).

This issue of Plástica magazine was devoted to art in Latin America; it was produced by Ernesto Ruiz de la Mata, the Puerto Rican critic, who organized the Centro de Documentación de Arte Latinoamericano [Center for the Documentation of Latin American Art] in Puerto Rico during the 1980s. Some of the articles included in this issue were lectures delivered at various conferences and symposia that were collected here for the first time; other essays were contributed by their authors with no particular subject guidelines. This was the first time that a Puerto Rican magazine addressed the question of contemporary Latin American art.

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.

Flavia Marichal
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Centro Damián Carlos Bayón del Instituto de América de Santa Fé, Granada, España
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras