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Material ideas: Argentine Art and Design from the 60’s

Co-edited by IDA Foundation and Malba, this book provides an insight into the aesthetics, practices, and actors that defined an era through the combination of hundreds of unique images, first-hand accounts, and analysis by renowned specialists and theoreticians.

Material Ideas: Argentine Art and Design from the 60’ stemmed from the homonymous 2015 sessions that took place alongside the exhibit “Young Polesello 1958-1974”, which were organized by Lucrecia Palacios and Wustavo Quiroga. Around twenty speakers, supported by visual presentations scripted by IDA, discussed this period, one of the most explosive ones of the XX century, from different perspectives and fields through papers and interviews that were eventually transcribed, reviewed, and expanded in order to be published.

Organized in four sections, “City”, “Experimentalism, psychedelia, and pop”, “Shapes, materials, and industries”, and “Historiography of Design”, the texts bear witness to the creative effervescence that invaded the atmosphere back then. Guided by those thematic axes, each comprised by four articles from different authors, the book becomes a journey through the advertising agencies, research centers, universities, factories, stores, bars, and nightclubs that defined the decade. All of the graphic pieces included are complemented by extended captions that provide extra information, anecdotes, contextual understanding, and distinctive features.

In the first chapter, Rafael Iglesia, Silvio Plotquin, Fanny Fingermann, and Aníbal Jarkowski discuss the links between city and design through the analysis of such cases as the commemorative fair of the May Revolution sesquicentennial (1960), Olivetti’s corporate design, and Fototrama’s signage system.

On the second chapter Susana Saulquin, Oscar Steimberg, Cristina Civale, Mario Salcedo, and Francisco Kröpfl reflect about new consumer habits, the role of mass-media in fashion innovation, electronic music, and «pop» genres like comic books.

To understand the articulation between design and production, the third chapter focuses on the history of institutions like CIDI, studios like Agens and Cícero, and enterprises like Stilka and Buró, as seen through the analysis and testimonies of Felisa Pinto, Susi Aczel, Jorge Ciaglia, Carolina Muzi, Rubén Fontana, José María Heredia, Martín Mazzei, Alan Neumarkt, and Reinaldo Leiro.

Finally, in the last chapter, the academic studies developed by Javier de Ponti, Verónica Devalle, Raúl Manrupe, and Silvia Fernández examine the productive, social, and institutional context of the era.

This publication will undoubtedly become a key source not only for scholars but also for anyone who has an interest in Argentine material and visual culture. The book examines subjects from previously unexplored perspectives related to project design, multiple-voices, stories, actors, and pieces, thus, making it a new and unavoidable step in the quest to appraise, promote, and activate Argentine art and design.


Release: Monday, October 7 at 19 hrs.
Place: Auditorium, Malba
Participants: Edgardo Giménez, Raúl Manrupe, and Angela Vassallo
Presenters: Socorro Giménez Cubillos and Wustavo Quiroga.


Material ideas: Argentine Art and Design from the 60’s (Buenos Aires, Malba and IDA, 2019)

Editing: Wustavo Quiroga
General Coordinators: Marina Baima and Guadalupe Requena
Concept and graphic design: Bruno Fernández
Publishing Coordinator: Socorro Giménez
Layout: Pablo Branchini
Biographies, footnotes, and additional texts: Juan Ruades
Article transcription and revision: Cecilia Arzeni and Rafael Córdoba
Dating: Diego Gómez Acuña
Text editing: Mariana Sández
Photograph restoration: Damián Domínguez and Marcos Winter
Image post-production: Francisco Frontalini

Research. Direction: Marina Baima and Wustavo Quiroga. Researchers: Cecilia Arzeni, Rafael Córdoba, Federico Espinoza, Sebastián Fernández Mur, Diego Gómez Acuña, María Jannello, Mayumi Matsumiya, Santi Pozzi, Sebastián Rodríguez, and Juan Ruades.