Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Mexican artist Alberto Beltrán thanks Lorenzo Homar for his time and attention during his visit to Puerto Rico. He tells Homar that artists Ángel Bracho and Jesús Álvarez Amaya, from the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), have sent works to Puerto Rico via post. The artists in the Sociedad Mexicana de Grabadores [Mexican Printmakers’ Association], whose president is Mariano Paredes, did not participate in the Primera Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [First Latin American Print Biennial, San Juan] (1970) because they did not learn of the event in time. Beltrán encloses in the letter some newspaper clippings as well as the addresses of contacts he deems important. The letter contains a postscript informing Homar of an exhibition in honor of Mexican artist Leopoldo Méndez that will open on February 6, 1970, at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City on the occasion of the anniversary of Méndez’s death.

Annotations

In 1958, Puerto Rican printmaker Lorenzo Homar went to Mexico City with the delegation of Puerto Rican artists who took part in the I Bienal Interamericana de Pintura y Grabado [1st Inter-American Biennial of Painting and Prints]. In Mexico City they were feted by the Taller de Gráfica Popular [People’s Print Workshop] (TGP). This was where Homar met Leopoldo Méndez, Mariana Yampolsky, Arturo García Bustos, and Beltrán himself, among others. Following this trip, Homar developed a close friendship with Beltrán (1923–2002). Homar’s archives contain a wealth of correspondence between the two men. Beltrán, who was devoted to the nationalist cause, joined the TGP in 1944. He was awarded first prize in the print category at the Primera Bienal Interamericana de Pintura y Grabado [First Inter-American Biennial of Painting and Prints]. Beltrán was the publisher of two newspapers that featured cartoons, Ahí va el golpe [Be careful!] and El Coyote Emplumado [The Feathered Coyote] as well as deputy director for graphics at the newspaper El Día.

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.

 

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