In 1981 the art historians Milan Ivelic (b. 1935) and Gaspar Galaz (b. 1941) published their first book: La pintura en Chile desde la Colonia hasta 1981 [Painting in Chile from Colonial Times until 1981]. The book covered about four centuries of painting and only one of the chapters referred to experimental art practices. That inclusion, and the way in which it was handled, prompted the cultural critic and theorist Nelly Richard (b. 1948) to respond, which she did in her essay “La pintura en Chile de Galaz e Ivelic: una instancia redefinitoria para el arte chileno” [Painting in Chile by Galaz and Ivelic: A Redefining Moment for Chilean Art] [see the ICAA Digital Archive (731869)], which was published in La Separata (1981–82), where the reply also appeared, and whose editorial board included Richard, the artist Carlos Altamirano (b. 1954) and the sociologist Fernando Balcells (b. 1950), all of whom were members of the art action group C.A.D.A. (Colectivo de Acciones de Arte). In another issue of La Separata, Ivelic and Galaz had published “El arte como afirmación” [Art as Affirmation] (748830), a new “reply” that sought to clarify certain proposals in their book in response to criticism from the art historian Isabel Cruz (b. 1946).
The books that Milan Ivelic and Gaspar Galaz published were an important contribution to the Chilean visual arts because they provide a narrative of the country’s art history. In 1983 the two writers adapted their book into a script for the TV program Demoliendo el muro [Demolishing the Wall], in which they played the role of host whose goal was to “demolish the wall” between art and the people, adopting a detailed, pedagogical approach that clearly showed their specialized knowledge. The program was aired twice, in the 1980s and again in 1994. In 1988 they published Chile, Arte Actual [Chile, Contemporary Art], a new historiographic book that welcomed criticism and presented a view of contemporary art. Since then their books have become essential reading for a broad historical revision of Chilean art. [See “La ampliación del espacio crítico” (734883) by Ivelic and Galaz.]