Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Journalist Juan Luis Márquez reports that fellow Puerto Ricans José Antonio Torres Martinó, Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, Julio Rosado del Valle, and Félix Rodríguez Báez have organized the Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño (CAP) in order to disseminate work by Puerto Rican artists and to carry out a wide range of artistic activities. In the interview with Márquez, Torres Martinó and Homar clarify that the organization is wholly cultural in orientation; it has no political affiliation whatsoever and it does not adhere to any specific artistic movement. The artists state that in addition to disseminating Puerto Rican art, CAP attempts to build ties and foster exchanges with art centers in other countries. In response to a question about how CAP is funded, the artists state that it receives support from a group of art enthusiasts who, in exchange for an annual contribution of $29 (U.S. dollars), receive an original artwork, as well as a 25 percent discount on any other works they wish to purchase. Martinó and Homar emphasize CAP’s interest in taking exhibitions beyond San Juan to towns throughout the island and in organizing other events such as lectures, concerts, and educational activities for young people.

Annotations

In 1950, Rafael Tufiño, José Antonio Torres Martinó, Félix Rodríguez Báez, and Lorenzo Homar founded the Centro de Arte Puertorriqueño (CAP). Among the range of functions fulfilled by CAP, there was a collective printmaking workshop, an art school, an exhibition space, and a meeting space. CAP’s political ideology was based on the nationalist ideas of Pedro Albizu Campos (a Puerto Rican nationalist leader) as well as the ideas of the Taller de Gráfica Popular [TGP,People’s Graphics Workshop] in Mexico, where Tufiño and other artists had studied. Its objective was to work collectively in order to create a Puerto Rican art identified with the people. The CAP objective was embodied in its first graphic art portfolio titled La estampa puertorriqueña [The Puerto Rican Print], published in 1951. For the CAP artists, printmaking was the favored medium for reaching a vast public and working collectively to that end, thus infusing a new vitality into the art of the Island.

Researcher
Flavia Marichal Lugo
Team
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Credit
Courtesy of the Estate of Juan Luis Márquez, San Juan, Puerto Rico