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Lorenzo Homar presents an ink caricature of the jury at the Primera Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [First Latin American Print Biennial, San Juan] held in 1970, whose members were: Arturo Dávila, director of the department of fine arts at the Universidad de Puerto Rico; Samuel Paz of the Centro de Artes Visuales [Center for the Visual Arts at the Di Tella Institute], Buenos Aires, Argentina; Elaine Johnson of the New York Museum of Modern Art; Umbro Apollonio of the Archive of Contemporary Art, Venice, Italy; Walter Koschatsky of the Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria; Zoran Krzisnik of the Modern Gallery of Ljubljana, Yugoslavia [now Slovenia]; Luigi Marrozzini, advisor appointed to represent Puerto Rico and owner of the Galería Colibrí; and Antonio Molina, painter and theater critic for the San Juan newspaper El Mundo. In this work, Homar includes the names of the artists who, by presenting works at the biennial, paid tribute to “the liberation struggle of Latin American peoples.”


By means of humor, this caricature—which was published in the magazine La Escalera in 1970—openly criticizes the jury’s selection.

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. 


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