The Premio de Ensayo Crítico (Critical Essay Prize) launched jointly by arteBA and Adriana Hidalgo publishers proposes to encourage critical writing, essays on contemporary Argentinean art and the emergence of new figures of reference in critical practice, inviting Argentinean writers, critics, essayists and artists to present previously unpublished writing projects that deal with issues present in Argentinean art in recent years.
For its second edition, jury members Fabián Lebenglik (Editorial Director, Adriana Hidalgo publishers and art critic), María Gainza (writer and art critic) and Lucrecia Palacios (art critic and coordinator of Public Programming for Malba) decided on the proposal presented by curator and researcher Federico Baeza: El litoral como arcadia contemporánea (The Littoral Region as a Contemporary Arcadia): “Baeza proposes to review the appearance of a series of projects that emerged from the very heart of contemporary art to work with the methodology and materials of art history in order to construct a space as distant in time as it is in terms of space: the littoral region and its artists. Accordingly, in his essay Baeza will consider the work of Marcelo Pombo, Claudia del Rio and Santiago Villanueva, who look back to the works of Mele Bruniard, Anselmo Piccoli and Juan Grela. In the essay proposed, Baeza focuses on certain aspects, artists and places that have not occupied a place in critical, academic or marketplace canons in recent decades. By way of a critical gesture, Baeza’s project reinstates what the artists studied propose in their works: to convert what which seemed to pertain to history into something contemporary.”
As the winner of the prize, Federico Baeza will receive a $25.000 grant in order to complete the essay, in addition to supervision by the Adriana Hidalgo publishers team and the editorial labor of María Gainza, followed by the text’s publication.
Subsuelos (Undergrounds), the winning essay of the first edition by Florencia Qualina, analyzes the cultural climate of our times, simultaneously reflecting on various issues present throughout Argentinean art and examining a group of works and exhibitions produced by Argentinean artists from the early 2000s to present. The essay is available for download at bajalibros.com and itunes.apple.com.
About Federico Baeza
He is a researcher and curator specializing in contemporary art. A graduate in Arts from the University of Buenos Aires, he earned a doctorate there in History and Theory of the Arts. He has received fellowships from CONICET, the UBA and the FNA [National Arts Fund, Argentina]. He received first prize in the arteBA 2014 Young Curators’ Program [JóvenesCuradores] and in the MACRO 2014 10th Anniversary Curators’ Competition. Some of his recent curating includes Soberanía del uso [Sovreignty of Use] (Fundación OSDE, Buenos Aires, 2014), Construcción de un museo (MACRO, Rosario, 2014), El fin del arte [The End/Purpose of Art] (arteBA, Buenos Aires, 2014) and Hacer con lo hecho [literally, Making with the Made] (MAMM, Cuenca, 2015). Currently he is director of University Extension, and an undergraduate and graduate professor in the Criticism of Arts at the National University of Arts. He is the coauthor of books, publishes articles in reviews and catalogs, and participates in talks and lectures in Argentina and abroad. He isan editor of the weekly Otra Parte.