Arte Concreto: Artistic Manifestations from the Complicated Political Climate of Peronist Argentina

Brenda Cuvlver Purdue University West Lafayette
Faculty Sponsor(s): Catherine Dossin Purdue University West Lafayette
This paper explores the ambiguous political nature of the right wing, populist presidency of Juan Perón that created a volatile, rapidly shifting political climate in Argentina during the 1940s and 1950s in which a multitude of different artistic endeavors sought to lead the art field as the genre of active and powerful social transformation. In 1944, with the publication of the magazine Arturo, a new group of young artists, trained at the Academy in Buenos Aires, emerged under the title “arte concreto”, promoting their geometric abstraction as the genuine social art of the “new man” in South America. While the group would experience a multitude of fractures, the most prominent being the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, the Grupo Madí, and Perceptismo, all artists working under the title “arte concreto” found themselves working against the anti-intellectual and anti-leftist notions of Peronism although, despite the affiliations of many members with the predominant leftist political groups in the country, these groups were still given allowance from the regime to continue to produce and discuss abstract art. This paper serves as an examination of the complicated and often uncategorizable nature of the Peronist government and the artistic movements that emerged during its tenure in an attempt to understand how arte concreto possibly serves as a counterpoint but also as a potentially insightful reflection of the political sphere of Peronist Argentina.
Art/Art History
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:15 AM
Lilly Hall 133