This text is an interview with the painter Alberto Dávila conducted by Eduardo Moll, a German artist and critic living in Peru. In an art world that favored figurative art (in both nationalist and indigenous variations), his perspective toward Abstract art made him unique.
In late 1952, Eduardo Moll (b. 1929) conducted a series of interviews with well-known Peruvian artists that were broadcasted on Radio Callao and subsequently published in the Semanario Peruano 1952. The prior year, the debate about Abstract art—stirred up by statements made by the painter Fernando de Szyszlo (b. 1925)—made the public aware of the issues under discussion by Lima’s intelligentsia. [See the ICAA digital archive, “Dice Fernando Szyzlo [sic] que no hay pintores en el Perú ni América: el joven pintor peruano declara sentir su pintura y la de los demás pero no puede explicarla” (anonymous) (1137793).] Such issues included the artist’s social commitment and the possibility of truly “Peruvian” painting. These matters were the focus of the interviews performed by Moll, who was able to gather a broad spectrum of opinions due to the diversity of the trends to which the artists interviewed belonged. On the one hand, Moll’s interviews feature artists who were open to the “nonfigurative” concept, such as Szyszlo himself [“Me parece que no hay otra pintura que la europea” (864956)], Ricardo Grau (1907–70) [“Encuesta: Ricardo Grau expone sus puntos de vista sobre la pintura y sus escuelas” (1150493)] and Alberto Dávila (1912–88)On the other hand, the series includes interviews by Moll with artists who were critical of Abstract art, such as Juan Manuel Ugarte Eléspuru (1911–2004) [“Pintura : reportaje a Juan Manuel Ugarte E.” (864995)], Sérvulo Gutiérrez (1914–61) [“Sérvulo Gutiérrez opina llanamente sobre pintura y sobre pintores” (1150441)] and Carlos Aitor Castillo (1913–2000) [“Reportaje a Carlos A. Castillo” (865074)], as well as the academic sculptor Romano Espinoza Cáceda (1898–1957). [“Reportaje a Romano Espinoza Cáceda”, por Moll (1227158)].