Arquitectura Viva
Friday, February 21, 2020

Latin American Visions

Josep Maria Montaner

Thanks to its contribution to knowledge about architecture in Latin America, the publication of this book is something to celebrate. Its mission was not an easy one, but has been accomplished through the selection of six architects for each of the three periods the anthology is divided into: the 1930s and 1940s, the 1950s, and the 1960s. Each architect is explained in a text written by an expert, and it is accompanied by an article by the architect.

The selection is justifiable and merits some remarks. Among the eighteen, there is only one woman, Lina Bo Bardi, and it is difficult to think of alternatives to the men chosen. Two have Spanish origins: Antonio Bonet and Félix Candela. There are unquestionable masters: Lúcio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Carlos Raúl Villanueva, Luis Barragán, Rogelio Salmona. The Argentinians featured are leaders of the three most representative currents: the surrealist expressionism of Clorindo Testa, the productivist rationalism of Mario Roberto Álvarez, and the search for the alternative and organic worlds that marked the career of Claudio Caveri. It is in the choice of Peruvian architect that the editor’s perspective is revealed: not Luis Miró Quesada, founder of the avant-garde Agrupación Espacio (Group Space), but Héctor Velarde, regionalist and architect of powers that be. We see a proximity to the historian Ramón Gutiérrez (who wrote the foreword) and Roberto Segre, and a distancing from critical currents like those led by Jorge Francisco Liernur, Carlos Eduardo Comas, or Ruth Verde Zein.  

Ana Esteban Maluenda (Ed.)
La arquitectura moderna en Latinoamérica
Reverté, Barcelona, 2016
368 pages

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