Magazine article Artforum International

Jose Manuel Broto

Magazine article Artforum International

Jose Manuel Broto

Article excerpt

SOLEDAD LORENZO

These days, when the "survival" of painting seems to be the hot topic, Jose Manuel Broto's perseverance in pictorial practice proves to be exemplary, on account of the brilliance with which he combines continuity and change. His trajectory began around the French movement of the '70s, support-surface, which Broto was instrumental in importing to Spain--as much through texts and theoretical publications as through actual "teaching." The legacy of that movement has been very poorly evaluated. It presented the possibility of a sensitive reorganization of thinking about the pictorial field. The time is ripe for a thorough and nonprejudiced reconsideration of what that movement meant. What Broto in particular is referring to here is the devaluing of the esthetic capital accumulated in his formative years--a vision stripped of power, which becomes lost in a poeticized, estheticized, or banally mystical apprehension of his work. Keeping in mind Broto's pertinence to that tradition of research underscores the rigor and quality of his current work. In fact, the questions raised with regard to support-surface presuppose a two-fold reinforcement of the meaning of pictorial practice whose legacy has remained intact. In the first place, because of its historico-political legitimacy in the context of the investigation into revolutionary movements (not only social, but also linguistic). Never, in fact, until that moment, had the legitimacy of pictorial practice in the context of the development of avant-gardes been theorized with such seriousness. …

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