Plástica (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- Vol. 2, no. 19 (Sep. 1988)
The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The Puerto Rican critic and historian Marimar Benítez explains that the Puerto Rican artist Myrna Báez was among those honored at the VIII Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe [8th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints], and was the subject of a retrospective recognizing her three decades of graphic production. In her essay, Benítez addresses various subjects: the formal exploration in Báez’s works, claustrophobia (the dense texture of the image), woman as an image (one of her main subjects), the transformation of Adam into an enigmatic symbol, and naturally, her perception of landscape as a basis for her work. According to Benítez, Báez is noteworthy for her formal inquiry into and her exploration of technical and expressive resources.
Myrna Báez (San Juan, b. 1931) studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando [San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts] in Madrid, at the Taller de Gráfica del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña [Puerto Rican Cultural Institute Print Workshop], where Lorenzo Homar was the director, and at the Graphic Arts Workshop at Pratt Institute in New York. Together with José A. Torres Martinó and other artists, she was a founding member of the Hermandad de Artistas Gráficos [Fraternity of Graphic Artists] in 1981, which was organized to protest the cultural intervention of the annexationist government that was in power at the time. In 1988, the VIII Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [8th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints] honored her as a Puerto Rican artist. The retrospective, Tres décadas gráficas de Myrna Báez 1958–1988 [Myrna Báez: Three Decades of Graphic Art, 1958–1988] exhibited 106 of her prints in various media, although she was mainly known for her use of silkscreen and colography. 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.