During the 1960s, “modern art” was being promoted by the Instituto General Electric (ICE), a private institution ancillary to the North American company. The institution was an intermediary between artistic and business circles in Uruguay, targeting those particular social sectors of the upper middle class that supported new circuits of artistic diffusion and concentrated their activities on the promotion of contemporary art. In 1967, an exhibition on “objective art” was realized where Carlos Fernández, Enrique Fernández, Amalia Polleri, Nelson Ramos, Luis Alberto Solari, and Washington Barcala presented work that deviated from the traditional concept of “sculpture.” The work alluded to the everyday environment and several of them were industrial products or arts and craft objects stripped of significance in an attempt to recontextualize and approximate works of Pop Art and Minimalism. Ancillary additions were made, such as in the work by Nelson Ramos, of the “dehumanized object,” an attribute of the existential profile of Sartre, predominant in the Montevidean environment. That same year the Minimalist influence was felt in Argentina in the exhibition Estructuras Primarias, held in Rosario, which came to the Uruguayan capital the following year.
According to the columnist María Luisa Torrens, the exhibition objects at the IGE constituted a communal perspective that was new to Uruguayan art, which was halfway between architecture, Cubist visual art, manufactured objects, and a plaything. The work by the artist and art critic Amalia Polleri titled Cilindro is worth highlighting for reflecting the dilemma of a nearly environmental artwork where the viewer’s senses and mental acuity are incited. The work used elements of concrete art whose use had expanded in the Rio de la Plata region from the mid-1940s with the Madí group from Argentina and the ruptura group created in 1952 from Brazil, which implied the possibility of a confluence between the use of new technology and artistic expression. The still life by Nelson Ramos, a visual artist whose creations were being developed in parallel to his pedagogical work at the Centro de Expresión Artística, was also described in the document. It is an expression of Pop Art with a conceptual base, given that its uniform color and the presence of drawn lines on the objects do not point to a realistic reconstruction of what is represented, but rather allude to a resignified object, to a “sign-object.”