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    El verdadero arte Latinoamericano / Ricardo Pau-Llosa
    Plástica (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
    p. 5-12
    Journal article – Essays

Cuban-American critic Ricardo Pau-Llosa asserts that there is a distinctive Latin American modern art that developed in the 1920s and 1930s. In his view, the privileged resource of Latin American visual approach is metaphor, whereas North American art makes greater use of pars pro toto metonymy (the part for the whole). The variety of different artistic explorations in Latin America has given rise to unique national styles that have had undeniable impact on modern art in general. These styles include oneiric luminism, costumbrismo, kinetic art, geometric kinetic art, and figurative expressionism. The artists he mentions are, among others, Amelia Peláez, Antonio Amaral, Humberto Calzada, Roberto Matta, Rogelio Polesello, Joaquín Torres García, Enrique Castro Cid, Leonora Carrington, Wilfredo Lam, Julio Rosado del Valle, and Juan Soriano.


This article was originally published in the magazine Terzo Occhio [The Third Eye] in Bologna, Italy, in September 1985, and later in the Puerto Rican magazine Plástica. 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.

Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Miami, FL