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    [Letter] 1977 Enero 2, Miramar, Puerto Rico [to] Maritza [Uribe] y Gloria [Restrepo] / [Lorenzo Homar]
    2 leaves
    Typed sheet – Letters
    Homar, Lorenzo to Maritza Uribe y Gloria Restrepo, Miramar, Puerto Rico, January 2, 1977. The Private Archives of Laura Homar Dämm and Susan Homar Dämm, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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As a gesture of affection, Puerto Rican artist Lorenzo Homar offers Colombian artists Maritza Uribe and Gloria Restrepo comments on his contribution to a collection of posters at the Museo La Tertulia in Cali, Colombia. In exchange for his remarks, he demands that Argentine art critic Marta Traba, a long-time resident of Colombia, not be allowed to use these comments to pass judgment on his work. This is because Traba had written an article on art in Puerto Rico for the Spanish magazine Ínsula in which she asserted that Homar is “an artist of poor taste.” Homar believes that Traba was venting her disdain about the problem that arose in relation to the IV Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano [IV Latin American Print Biennial, San Juan], which was scheduled to take place in 1976. Homar expresses his concern that some of his former disciples might accept the sort of “vengeful criticism” put forth by Traba. Homar also states that he was pleased by the fact that Pedro Alcántara and his group had won an award at Intergrafik in Berlin.


In 1972, Lorenzo Homar gave a workshop in silkscreen at the Universidad Interamericana, San Germán campus, in Puerto Rico. Later, the Museo La Tertulia in Cali, Colombia, invited him to give a course on silkscreen to a group of Colombian artists. 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.

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.

The IV Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano was cancelled by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña [ICP, Institute of Puerto Rican Culture] because of the protests initiated by the artists who were against using funds provided for celebration of the Bicentennial of U.S. Independence. However, Lorenzo Homar had no desire for the IV Bienal to be cancelled. According to him, it would be much more effective if the international press informs the world that U.S. independence was being celebrated in a U.S. colony, the island of Puerto Rico. Indeed, many artists criticized Homar for having started the protest. 

“Las artes plásticas en Puerto Rico,” written by Marta Traba (1930–1983), was published by the magazine Ínsula, Revista Bibliográfica de Ciencias y Letras, Madrid, Spain, 1976, year XXX, No. 356–357, pp. 8–9.


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.