Plástica (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- No.4 (Dic. 1979)
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The Argentine critic Damián Bayón, who lived in Puerto Rico in the 1950s, claims that the exodus of Latin American artists was good for their aesthetic education. He adds that some artists left their countries when they were very young and were schooled overseas; some went to Paris, some to New York, and yet they still remained very Latin American, as in the case of Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Wilfredo Lam. They had evidently worked in favorable environments. Many artists travel abroad to study, however, most of them return to their country of origin. As one who has spent many years away from his country of origin, Bayón supports the idea of a temporary exodus.
Damián Carlos Bayón (1915–1995) was a visiting professor of art history at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras campus from 1953 to 1958. In January 1954 he delivered two lectures, “Arquitectura y Paisaje en Europa: Francia, España, Italia” [Architecture and Landscape in Europe: France, Spain, and Italy] and “La concepción del espacio en la pintura antigua y moderna” [The Conception of Space in Ancient and Modern Painting]. From June 1955 through January 1956, he traveled in Europe, gathering material for his classes while on paid leave from the University of Puerto Rico. He would then draw on that material to write on the visual arts.His contract was cancelled, effective August 18, 1958. (Inactive dossier, First batch, Box B-41, Central Archive, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras campus). 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 architecre, 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.