Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Spanish critic Manuel Pérez Lizano asserts that sculpture has not developed as fully as painting in Puerto Rico for a number of reasons: the high price of works in that medium (there are few exhibitions of foreign sculptors in Puerto Rico due to high shipping costs); the lack of a museum of contemporary art; and the lack of a coherent government policy on either the acquisition or commissioning of works. Pérez Lizano mentions Rafael López del Campo (1936–2009) as a figurative sculptor whose work has contributed to the development of Puerto Rican sculpture. He also comments on abstract sculpture, which was first produced in the sixties, as well as geometrical, Neo-Constructivist, and informal-ist sculpture. Within the context of Puerto Rican sculpture, the author analyzes the work of sculptors Rafael Ferrer, Pablo Rubio, John Balossi, Rolando López Dirube (a Cuban artist who moved to Puerto Rico in 1961), George Warreck, Antonio Navia, Edwin Cordero, Miriam Zamparelli, Carlos Dávila, Melquiades Rosario Sastre, and Celia Rodríguez.

Annotations

One year after writing this text, Manuel Pérez Lizano published another essay on the same topic titled “Escultura Actual en Puerto Rico II” (see doc. No. 805930). Plástica magazine, where this review was published, was an art publication that appeared fairly regularly in Puerto Rico. It began modestly enough in 1968, as the newsletter of the Liga de arte de San Juan [San Juan Art League], but changed its name in 1978 to Plástica revista de la Liga de estudiantes de San Juan [San Juan Student League Visual Arts Magazine]. Its very specific title notwithstanding, the twenty-one issues of the magazine explored a wide range of subjects within the broad parameters of Puerto Rican and Latin American art, filling its pages with retrospective coverage of subjects, such as the V Bienal de San Juan del grabado latinoamericano y del Caribe [5th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints] (1981), Puerto Rican architecture, and Latin American visual arts. The first editorial board of the magazine included Hélène Saldaña, Delta Picó, Cordelia Buitrago, and J.M. García Segovia. In addition to the many essays written by top Puerto Rican thinkers, the magazine published contributions from some of the leading Latin American artists and critics, such as Luis Camnitzer, Damián Bayón, Jacqueline Barnitz, Samuel Cherson, Joseph Alsop, Omar Rayo, and Ricardo Pau Llosa, among many others.

Researcher
Flavia Marichal
Team
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Location
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras