FW: Some links on Carpani
djsaylor at SPAMprimenet.com
Sun Dec 17 11:47:34 MST 2000
Nestor has been replying to some of my thoughts on realism. As a visual
artist, one of my first masters to study was Picasso. More than anyone else
of course Picasso represents a challenge to realism (as we might consider
for example the photograph). In the complex issues that he brought up.
Carpani early in his career like many people, myself included, talks to
Picasso and others associated with cubism about what is to be done in using
pictures to tell our story. But more importantly if one reads the
commentary below, Carpani strives to put his feelings into the images which
is very much what Marxist art must be about, commitment, solidarity,
struggle are but words, but the image shows us how the artist sees into the
surface of things to understand with the mind and feelings what is really
So I want to start a dialog with artists here on the list. Sometimes
the dialog in painting is with those gone away, like Picasso for whom we
talk and listen in our eyes. We hear with respect what is being said. And
we want as Marxist to build a strong working class movement.
Subject: Some links on Carpani
They are not the best of his work. Muralism, in particular, is not included.
Neither are his powerful political drawings which got posted the country
over during the resistence of the 60s against the antinational regime. A
Carpani on a wall could make a stir by itself, believe me!
But they give a slight idea of what was behind this great revolutionary,
realist, painter. If you do a search on Lycos for his lifetime comrade,
Pascual Di Bianco, you will also find interesting things.
The three last ones are outdated, they were organized before his death in
There is a very good interview (in Spanish) in:
Well, that's better than nothing I guess.
Ricardo Carpani traversed three distinct periods in his life and art.
Always a revolutionary socialist, he mixed his political action ("During the
60s, Carpani did not _support_ us", remembers on an interview a union leader
of the combative branch, "he was another one of us") with his art in a way
that cannot be divided. His greatest wall paintings are today in the
Argentine unions (Health Workers, Wine Workers, and others). Lots of his
work became poster after flaming poster. And his paintings were always a
reflection of the fact that Carpani was, by definition, a political artist.
The first period, that of the stern resistence by the Argentinean working
class against the oligarchic system, runs roughly from the early 60s (when
he founded the Grupo Espartaco) to the early 70s (when he was caught in
Spain by the beginning of the massacre, and his friends warned him not to
return to Argentina; in fact we were lucky, because as he has told a
journalist himself "If I had been there when the whole thing began, I
wouldn't have left the country, no matter what would happen to me"). This is
a period marked by monumental, strong, massive bodies, hands and heads with
thoughtful and reflexive eyes. By multitudes in struggle, as a fist directed
against the oppressors. Their strong geometricity displays a certainty, a
clarity of objectives and on the ways to achieve them that overwhelms the
viewer. Colors are not bright, the figures on the paintings are at a very
serious task, that of taking power, and they cannot indulge in colourful
Then, Carpani sees himself in exile. He clings to his own memoirs in order
to retain his identity as an Argentinean. Our (his) typical features gain
the front of his art. Characters of Buenos Aires, tango dancers, loving
couples and mate drinkers, they all appear in subdued tones of blue and
grey, vernished in nostalgia and calm sadness (another feture of
Argentineans in European exile).
Carpani, in the third part of his artistic life, returns from exile. The
country he finds is so different from the one he had had to leave, the
society has become a nightmare of wild beasts chasing people. His own
countryfolks have become game in a jungle. And then, in an explosion of
vibrant color, he puts all his basic Argentinean characters of the exile in
the midst of a baroque, beautiful and at the same time menacing, jungle.
These are his later paintings. A bright colored, Menemist, jungle, where
grey faces of archetypal Argentineans look bewildered at the menacing
environment they have been thrown in.
The two second parts of his artistic life see his lines becoming more
rounded, and achieve a spectacular, fully Baroque, flow in his third epoch.
Carpani himself was aware of this, and he gave a crystal clear explanation:
"Well, when we had no doubts, not even on matters of methodology, we could
be geometric and almost cubist. Now we have so many doubts, not on the goals
but yes on the ways to get at them... We must become Baroque. Baroque art is
the art of bewildered consciousness..."
Hope you like the paintings. If you feel the above deserves being posted to
the list, feel free to do so.
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar
More information about the Marxism