Plástica (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- No. 10 (Mar. 1983)
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.
Puerto Rican historian Margarita Fernández Zavala interviews Myrna Báez on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition of Báez’s work from 1971 to 1981 organized by the Museo del Barrio (New York, NY). The show was also exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts, and at the Chase Manhattan Bank in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. In the interview, the Puerto Rican artist makes interesting comments on an array of topics including the changes in her technique; the commitment and dedication with which she works; and the political situation in Puerto Rico and its impact on art and, therefore, her own commitment to reaffirming her identity as a Puerto Rican artist.
Entitled Myrna Báez, diez años de gráfica y pintura [Myrna Báez, Ten Years of Painting and Graphics], the 1982 exhibition held in New York at the Museo del Barrio included twenty-five paintings and twenty-nine prints. The essay in the catalogue, which was written by Marta Traba, had been already published in the magazine Imagen in June 1980.
Other texts on Báez in this digital archive include “Notas sobre una pintura difícil” (Notes About a Difficult Painting, doc. No. 806101) and “La realidad en la gráfica de Myrna Báez” (doc. No. 866665), written byMarta Traba and Marimar Benítez, respectively, for the exhibition catalog.
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.
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.