Plástica (San Juan, Puerto Rico). --1977
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 editorial board of the magazine Plástica reproduced part of an article on art criticism—a topic of great interest to the Puerto Rican art milieu—that had previously been published in the Mexican magazine ARTE-noticias. To expand on the article’s topic, Puerto Rican artists were asked two questions: “How important is art criticism to you?” and “What role do you think art criticism should play in Puerto Rico?” The artists interviewed stated that in the Island, art criticism often consists of an inconsequential, subjective, and personal account of an exhibition. They did believe, however, that art criticism is important insofar as it helps people to “hone their senses in order to increase understanding and enjoyment.”
The Mexican artists interviewed were Helen Escobedo, Raúl Madrigal, and Regina Rull; and the Puerto Ricans were Rosita Haeussler, José Antonio Torres Martinó, Paul Camacho, Antonio Navia, and Luis Hernández Cruz.
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.