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In this letter, Mexican artist Albero Beltrán (1923–2002) informs Puerto Rican artist Lorenzo Homar that the course in poster design that Polish designer Wiktor Gorka was offering at the Academia de San Carlos (Mexico City) would continue until June 1970. He remarks that Social Realism is no longer the prevalent style in Eastern European countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia. Beltrán believes that a time of change has come and the rules of the past are no longer “necessarily valid for the present.” In his view, what matters is to try to be sincere and honest in anything you do. Beltrán’s comments on art are followed and interspersed with remarks on politics, especially the political situation in Mexico.


In 1958, Puerto Rican printmaker Lorenzo Homar traveled to Mexico City as part of the delegation of Puerto Rican artists participating in the I Bienal Interamericana de Pintura y Grabado[First Inter-American Painting and Print Biennial]. The artists from Puerto Rico were warmly received by the members of the Taller de Gráfica Popular [TGP, People’s Graphic Workshop]. While in Mexico City, Homar met Leopoldo Méndez, Mariana Yampolsky, Arturo García Bustos, Alberto Beltrán, and others. Through this trip, Homar became close friends with Alberto Beltrán (1923–2002); there is considerable correspondence between the two in Lorenzo Homar’s archive.

For the delegation of Puerto Rican artists, the trip to Mexico represented a great opportunity to come into contact with new forms of expression and ideas since all the countries in the region participated in the biennial. In addition to Homar, the Puerto Rican artists who traveled to Mexico on this occasion were Augusto Marín, José Antonio Torres Martinó, Rafael Tufiño, Eduardo Vera, Manuel Hernández Acevedo, Carlos Raquel Rivera, Antonio Maldonado, Isabel Bernal, José Manuel Figueroa, and Carlos Osorio. Writers Emilio Díaz Valcárcel, Pedro Juan Soto, and René Marqués also went along, accompanied by Ricardo Alegría, the director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) at the time.
Lorenzo Homar (San Juan, 1913–2004) was a printmaker, poster artist, calligrapher, book illustrator, set and clothing designer, and mentor to a whole generation of Puerto Rican printmakers. From 1952 to 1957, he was the director of the Taller de Gráfica [Graphics Workshop] at the División de Educación de la Comunidad (DIVEDCO). In 1955, he organized the Taller de Gráfica at the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP), where he remained until 1973. Later, he worked in his own studio, where he experimented with and perfected the silkscreen technique.

Flavia Marichal Lugo.
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of the private archives of Laura and Susan Homar Dämm, San Juan Puerto Rico, PR
Archivo Lorenzo Homar