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In this letter to Puerto Rican artist Lorenzo Homar, Argentine artist Mauricio Lasansky states that he resents the fact that the Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe [Latin American and Caribbean Print Biennial, San Juan] is limited to citizens of Latin American countries since approximately 20 million Latinos and Chicanos live in the United States. Lasansky asks himself why these artists—whose cultural background and work is steeped in Latin American traditions—cannot participate in that event.


Mauricio Lasansky (Buenos Aires, Argentina, born 1914) has lived in the United States since 1943. In 1945, he started the Printmaking Workshop at the University of Iowa. In 1979, Lasansky was the foreign artist to whom the IV Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [IV Latin American Print Biennial, San Juan] paid tribute with an exhibition held at theCasa de los Dos Zaguanes in Old San Juan from May 25 to August 31, 1979. The show included eight drawings and 103 prints produced by Lasansky from 1944 to 1976.

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 the private archives of Laura and Susan Homar Dämm, San Juan Puerto Rico, PR