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The American art historian, Shifra M. Goldman, writes an analysis of what happened in Mexican art during the years 1955 to 1965. In her opinion, this decade was marked by a growing international trend and by the essentialist loss of both national and indigenous art. In the 1960s, private galleries were proliferating at the same time that several government agencies were setting up exhibition spaces; an issue exemplified by the establishment of the Museo de Arte Moderno [Museum of Modern Art] (1964). Goldman believes that United States cultural imperialism stirred up “una conspiración política” [a political conspiracy] against social realism (previously disseminated by the Mexican mural movement) to ensure that abstract art would emerge triumphant.


This essay was published in the Mexican magazine, Plural, whose editor was the well-known Mexican writer, Octavio Paz. Launched as a magazine of criticism, art, and literature, Plural was published from 1971 to 1994. Paz, however, left the magazine in 1976, when pressure from the publisher led him to establish another magazine: Vuelta [Turn]. As a monthly publication of the newspaper Excélsior, Plural is remembered today for stimulating the spirit of free creativity in Mexico, in literature and as well as in the arts. On the front page of the article, there is a handwritten note written by Shifra M. Goldman to the Puerto Rican artist, Lorenzo Homar. In her note, Goldman thanks the artist for the prints he gave her. As a token of her gratitude, she dedicates to Homar “el hijo de su energía creativa” [the offspring of his creative energy;] that is, her essays on Latin American art and the political struggle. The writer considers Homar the best contemporary artist in Puerto Rico. Lorenzo Homar (San Juan, 1913-2004) organized in 1957 the Taller de Gráfica [Graphics Workshop] at the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, which he directed until his resignation in 1973. Some of the foremost artists of Puerto Rican art studied printmaking techniques in this workshop. Homar inspired in them dedication and love for the art, for, as he once said: “There is no vocation without discipline, and without discipline there can be no freedom in art, or elsewhere.” Homar was one of the organizers of the First Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano held in 1970. He developed the technique of silkscreen and offered numerous workshops in and outside Puerto Rico.

Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Eric Garcia, POA Shifra Goldman, North Hollywood, CA
Courtesy of Arte Público Press, University of Houston, Houston, TX