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In his introduction to the catalog, The Latin American Graphic Arts Biennial, Luis Camnitzer relates the graphic arts exhibition presented by the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (MoCHA) in 1986, to the tradition of the 1960s of Latin American biennials that were devoted to the support of both graphic arts and printmaking. Based on the heterogeneous selection of works at the biennial, Camnitzer argues that the popularity of printmaking in Latin America has not entailed the development of a unified expression, goal, or iconography in this medium, or even new techniques. According to him, the role of the MoCHA biennial is precisely to stimulate the emergence of a truly diverse Latin American art.
Born in Lübeck, Germany, and resident in Uruguay since childhood, Luis Camnitzer (1937) is one of the foremost Latin American Conceptual artists working in New York since the 1960s. He is also widely recognized as a writer and theoretician on art from Latin America.
This introduction was published together along with the reproduction of an excerpt from Marta Traba’s introductory essay, published in Selections from the Permanent Collection from the Museum of Modern Art of Latin America (Washington, DC). The juxtaposition of both texts helped contrast Camnitzer’s points with Traba’s, who argued that Latin America has indeed developed a clear printmaking tradition characterized by its persistence of traditional techniques and its opposition to “the new aesthetics of deterioration.”