Imagen (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- No. 4 (Jun. 1980)
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.
Argentine critic Marta Traba, who lived in Puerto Rico in the early 1970s, comments on the figurative paintings and landscapes by Puerto Rican artist Myrna Báez. Traba asserts that Báez has become a significant artist due to “the variety and complexity of the resources she deploys; her seriousness on the level of technique; her consistent professionalism; the persistence and modesty of her aim,” and the confidence with which she “marks a path in contemporary painting throughout the Americas.” Trabas discusses the works La pared [The Wall] (1972); La lámpara Tiffany [The Tiffany Lamp] (1975); Noviembre y Paisaje de Barrazas [November and Barrazas Landscape] (1976); El sofá, Bambú, Mangle [The Sofa, Bamboo, Mangrove] and Mangle de Salinas [Salinas Mangrove] (1977); La tapia [The Fence] (1978); El árbol [The Tree] (1979); Ramón (1980); and other paintings.
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.
It becomes quite important to gather together all text written by Marta Traba in the several countries where she lived. By the time Traba moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, she had already lived in Bogota, New York, Paris, and Buenos Aires. From August 1970 until the summer of 1971, she taught classes on Latin American art, the theory of art history (201), the history of modern art (213), and other subjects at the Department of Fine Arts of the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. In the summer of 1971, she offered a course in aesthetics as well. At the end of the summer term, however, the university did not renew her contract. While she was living in Puerto Rico, Marta Traba wrote articles for newspapers and magazines, as well as books in which she formulated her position on Puerto Rican art. As evidenced by this open letter from Puerto Rican artist, Rafael Rivera García, her view was widely questioned and criticized by members of the art community.