This document by Venezuelan writer, diplomat, and art historian Mariano Picón-Salas (1901–65) presents a historical panorama of the agreements and disagreements among Latin American nations, and clarifies the ideological mechanisms and matters upon which they were based. He likewise reveals starting points, perspectives, and guidelines for humanism, which can be used as a basis to undertake and sustain a study of the Latin American world. These key points had been discussed in a seminar that took place at El Colegio de México on an unknown date during the 1950s.
The preoccupation with homogeneity and diversity in Latin American art has been constant since the European avant-garde, especially within the abstract arts, which attracted some South American countries (Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina) beginning in 1945 with the end of World War II. This is when the idea of the supposed “uniqueness” of problems between countries with a strong indigenous legacy and those countries with a larger European presence was again posed; taking as a given the inevitable and unique form of artistic expression dictated by the social realism tradition.
This document is also reproduced in Obras Selectas by Mariano Picón-Salas (Madrid-Caracas: Edime, 1962).