Plástica Latinoamericana (San Juan, Puerto Rico). --Vol. 1, no. 12 (Septiembre 1984)
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Jorge Glusberg, founder of the Centro de Arte y Comunicación [Center for Art and Communication] (CAyC in Buenos Aires), says that “there is no such thing as a Latin American art but there is a common set of challenges that creates an identity.” He goes on to claim that “art has appeared [in Latin American countries] that has a common denominator in spite of the geographical distances and the relative isolation in which the countries exist.” Glusberg defines “transvanguardia” [trans-avant-garde]—the term coined by the Italian critic and curator Achile Bonito Oliva—in Latin America as an original movement that evolved out of a period of transition to new forms. Glusberg explains the transvanguardia process in terms of the works produced by artists and groups in Argentina. The artists and groups mentioned in the essay are: Antonio Berni, Artistas de la Nueva Figuración [New Figuration artists] (Luis Felipe Noé and Rómulo Macció, among others), Tomás Maldonado, Grupo Cobra, Pintores de la Nueva Objetividad [painters of the New Objectivity], Kenneth Kamble, Juan Pablo Renzi, Américo Castillo, Florencio Méndez Casariego, Rafael Bueno, Ana Eckell, Hilda Paz, Grupo IIIII (five), Pablo Bobbio, Guillermo Kuitca, and Osvaldo Monzo.
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.