Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In 1974, Ricardo Alegría was director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, as well as a member of the committee for the III Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [Third San Juan Biennial of Latin American Graphic Art]. [In this letter,] Alegría informs printmaker Lorenzo Homar that the artists Myrna Báez, José Antonio Torres Martinó, and Antonio Martorell have made three requests to him regarding the biennial, and he has accepted all three. The requests were: to eliminate the national prize, to appoint a selection committee, and to appoint a Puerto Rican artist to the prize jury.

Annotations

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.

The Biennial de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano was one of the most important events held in the Caribbean region, given that it fostered an exchange of ideas and contact among different artists. The first of these biennials was organized by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña [Institute of Puerto Rican Culture] (ICP) in 1970. Printmaking was selected because it was a form of expression that was widely practiced by Puerto Rican artists, who were producing very high quality work. In 1986, “y del Caribe” [and Caribbean] was added to the name of the biennial so it could include that geographic area in the event. Parallel to this change, the biennial included two exhibitions to recognize artists’ work: one to honor a Puerto Rican artist and the other to honor a foreign artist. 

There are two sheets attached to this letter. On one is the list of names suggested [by Alegría] as members of the prize jury: Lorenzo Homar, Jaime Romano, José A. Torres Martinó, and Luisa Géigel. On the other is a list of names proposed for the selection committee: Jaime Romano, Luis Hernández Cruz, José A. Torres Martinó, Augusto Marín, Rubén Moreira, Abraham Díaz González, the architect Juan Marqués, Carola Vega, and Homar.

For more information about this, see doc. no. 861271.

 

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