THE OPTION FOR REALITY
In 1968, Hector Giuffré, then a 24 year old painter, published his first realistic manifesto entitled, "From the Intimate Structure of Reality," to go along with his individual exhibition at the renown gallery "Lirolay." We were dealing evidently with an independent position that was followed by several artists of his generation
Need only recall that several months before there had been a seminar called "Semana del Arte Avanzado" in Argentina, organized by the "Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes," the "Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires," and the "Instituto di Tella" as well as a considerable number of art galleries. At the "Instituto" we could see the aggressive visual "experiences 1967". In other institutions, "Minimalism" was presented under the names: "the elementary visual or primary structures IV." The Frenchman Jean Jacques Lebel, prophet of the "happening," was passing by Buenos Aires, announcing that "art and disgust are closely tied," and to conclude that people had to "recognize the divine nature of disgust."
In 1968, year of the "realistic" exhibition by Giuffré, the experiences of the Instituto di Tella were lacking the term "visual," recognizing an esthetic experimentation tending even more toward what the American critic Lucy Lippard named "dematerialization," situation which we could define in other words as the reduction of the formal aspect of art. After the apogee of "Pop," cinetism, minimalism and other facets of international vanguards, they were announcing at the "Rio de la Plata," "Arte Póvera," the "land art", the "conceptualism".
Giuffré, oblivious to all those manifestations, inclined himself obstinately toward a practice that to the generalized but not absolute opinion was archaic -- a painting concerned with reality.
Q: "How did it occur in your work, after several experimental attitudes, the return to the easel painting and the return to figuration?"
A: "At some time I asked myself if there was a logical explanation for the leaving behind of that bunch of pictoric elements that I knew pretty well due to the stage of my formation that I was going through. I thought it was not, and disregarding the generalized opinions, I found out that it was a sufficiently versatile means to organize my thinking.
"Therefore, I went back to the strictly pictoric activity. The problem was what to paint. Painting as a mere questioning of my subjectivity was not appealing. It was then that the need arose to find out about the real, but the objective real, not the subjective real.
"At that time, in the context of international art, some new sources arose names New Realism, Hyper-realism, Photorealism, etc. That became the novelties of 1969-70. But my painting, I feel necessary to point out, does not derive form those tendencies that declare their dependency from photography.
"My inclination toward Realism was coming mostly from the painters of our school from the River Plate, such as Fortunato Lacámera, Victor Cúnsolo and others. In those years, there was a retrospective exhibition on painter Fortunato Lacámera at the "Asociación de Impulso de Artes y Letras de la Boca" (*) that impressed me very much. Up to today, I remember each one of the paintings."
Q: "Realism meant to you a form of resistance toward international vanguardism?"
A: "If I have kept away from the vanguardist practices, it is because of the fact that they are merely idealistic manifestations. 'Avant-garde' is but a manifestation of idealism." (...)
Published by newspaper "La Nación," Buenos Aires, February 13, 1988
(*)"Impulse's Association of Arts and Writings", an old argentinian non-profit association dedicated to encourage young writers and artists. Founded by painter Fortunato Lacamera and historian and politician J. Pugliese