Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

www.mfah.org Home

IcaadocsArchive

Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    849230
    TITLE
    [Letter] 1974 September 6, San Antonio, Tejas [to] Rudy Treviño / César Augusto Martínez, Carmen Lomas Garza, Amado Maurilio Peña
    DESCRIPTION
    [2] leaves
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Typed sheet – Letters
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Martínez, César Augusto, Carmen Lomas Garza and Amado Maurilio Peña to Rudy Treviño, San Antonio, TX, September 6, 1974. Courtesy of Amado M. Peña, Jr., Santa Fe, NM.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    ADDITIONAL AUTHORS
    Martínez, César Augusto, 1944-; Peña, Amado Maurilio, 1943-
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

This document was written under the letterhead “Tres” [Three], yet signed by artists Carmen Lomas Garza, Amado Maurilio Peña, and César Augusto Martinez. The authors outline their reasons for resigning from the collective Con Safo [sometimes written Con Safos], including the conceptual disagreements between individuals in the collective, an unstable membership that lacked involvement, as well as an impractical organizational structure bound by formal rules rather than activity. The letter concludes with a statement of support for the remaining artists and a hope for Con Safo to become meaningful in the future.

Annotations

Con Safo (usually spelled without an ‘s’ at the end) was a seminal artist collective in San Antonio, Texas, during the late 1970s. As outlined in this resignation letter, a disagreement within the group based mainly on the definition and role of Chicano art, caused three of the founding members to leave in 1974; they subsequently formed their own group, Los Quemados in 1975. As outlined in the essay included in their brochure, Con Safo evolved under different names and member configurations, from El Grupo in 1967, to Los Pintores de Aztlan, then Los Pintores de la Nueva Raza, and finally to Con Safo in 1972. Throughout the five years, the group’s mission remained focused on providing exhibition opportunities for its members. According to art historian Jacinto Quirarte, at the time of dissolution Con Safo artists had attained regional and even national exposure and thus had completed their mission.

Though signed collectively, the letter was written by César Augusto Martinez, a Chicano painter with a long history of involvement in the Chicano movement both as an individual artist and as a member of some of the most seminal Texas artist collectives of the 1970s in San Antonio, including Con Safo and Los Quemados. He was also a co-founder of the Chicano magazine Caracol, for which he served as photographer, designer, and occasional columnist.

Researcher
Tere Romo
Team
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Credit
Courtesy of Amado M. Peña, Jr., Santa Fe, NM