Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this set of three letters, Colombian artist Pedro Alcántara writes to Puerto Rican printmaker Lorenzo Homar, shortly after Homar’s departure from Cali. He tells Homar that Juan Antonio Roda, the Spanish artist who has set up his studio in Colombia, withdrew from the group organizing the Salón Nacional de Artistas de Colombia [Colombian National Artists Salon]. However, there will be no change in the plans to inaugurate the salon in November. In another one of the letters, Alcántara reports that he completed the silkscreens by Phanor León and Enrique Grau, explaining both the processes and the print runs. He even adds that he is about to start planning the organization of the workshop they intend to establish. He tells Homar that he has lined up a Spanish bookseller, who also imports art materials, which will simplify the process of obtaining supplies. To a great extent, [until now,] they have been dependent on supplies that Homar has been able to send them from Puerto Rico.

Annotations

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.

Homar met Colombian artist Pedro Alcántara (b. 1942) when the latter was in San Juan for an exhibition of his work at the Galería El Morro (Dibujos y monotipos [Drawings and Monotypes], December 4, 1970) and for the Primera Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [First Latin American Print Biennial, San Juan] (1970) in which Alcántara participated. Later, Alcántara had the opportunity to work in Homar’s studio, where he first came into contact with the silkscreen technique. From that time on, they became and remained close friends. In 1972, Homar was invited by the Museo La Tertulia in Cali, Colombia, to give a class on silkscreen [printing] to a group of artists from that city. During the ten-day workshop, artists Pedro Alcántara, Enrique Grau, and Phanor León were able to print silkscreens for the portfolio that Cartón de Colombia was putting together that year. Shortly after the workshop, Alcántara, with Homar’s assistance, began working on plans to open a permanent printmaking studio. On August 23, 1974, a show featuring some of Alcántara’s graphic work from 1964 to 1974 was held at the Museo de Grabado Latinoamericano [Latin American Print Museum] of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. Homar designed and printed the poster announcing the exhibition.

 

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