Raúl Lozza
(Alberti, Buenos Aires Prov., 1911 - Buenos Aires, 2008)
Concrete Art in Argentina
A panorama of the 20th Century
Raúl Lozza
He was born in Alberti, Buenos Aires Province in 1911. After facing numerous economic and family catastrophes, he and his brothers rented a couple of rooms where they set up a studio in which they painted, drew and listened to classical music.
In 1928, he and his brothers exhibited for the first time at the Escuela Nº 1 in Alberti, their native town. The following year, he settled in Buenos Aires, where he showed his works on social subjects and illustrated books, newspapers and magazines, in which he published his poetic and theoretical writings.
He was part of the intellectual group that published Counterpoint newspaper in 1944. From 1945, he took an active part in the creation of the Asociación Arte Concreto Invención (Concrete Art Invention Association), one of the first tendencies of the Argentine abstract avant-garde.
In 1947, he stated his disagreements and broke away from the group to initiate his own movement called Perceptism, in which his brother, Rembrandt V. D. Lozza, and art critic, Abraham Haber, were also active. He soon achieved the instruments of an accurate technique. Problems such as "the open structure", a projectural system governed by centrifugal lines of force and on the basis of which forms are defined; the "qualimetry of the flat form", with which the form-colour relation is controlled and adjusted; and the notion of "coloured field" as the place on which the painting is done –Ideally the architectural wall– and with which it interacts, constitute the main elements of a method that aimed at the production of truly concrete works. Between 1950 and 1953, he published Perceptism magazine, through which he diffused these theories.
For more than sixty years, he published essays and gave dozens of lectures in Argentina and abroad. He travelled through Latin America and Europe as a special guest. He participated in running the artists union and in activities to defend freedom of expression and the national heritage.
He held numerous group and solo exhibitions in our country and abroad. Among others, he showed his work at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Moderno, Museo Eduardo Sívori in Buenos Aires, in the Provincial Museums of Santa Fe, Tucumán, Rosario, Salta and Jujuy; in Fundación San Telmo and Fundación Banco Patricios, in the Fondo Nacional de las Artes and in the Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana. Abroad he exhibited at the São Paulo Biennial, in museums in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay, Spain, Britain, Switzerland, the U.S.A., Germany and France and in the Rachel Adler and Apex Art galleries in New York.
Among other distinctions, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the House of Representatives in 1971, the Trajectory Prize awarded by the Asociación Argentina de Críticos de Arte (Argentine Association of Art Critics) in 1986, the Palanza Prize in 1991, the Konex de Platino Prize, the National Consecration Prize in 1992, the Fundación Fortabat Grand Prix d'honneur in 1997 and 1998 he received the Leonardo Trajectory Prize at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
His works are to be found in numerous private collections and at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, the Museo Eduardo Sívori, the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes in Santa Fe, the Washington National Gallery of Art and the Batuz Foundation Sachsen de Altzella in Germany.
During 1997, a great retrospective exhibition was held at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires and he was invited to participate in the I MERCOSUR Biennial. In 1998, he exhibited at Galería Van Eyck. In 1999, the Fondo Nacional de las Artes selected him to take part in Arco International Art Fair in Madrid as the official representative of Argentina. In 2001, he exhibited Raul Lozza. Teoría estructural del color (Structural theory of colour) at Galería del Infinito. That same year, the Centro Cultural Borges held a tribute exhibition under the title: Raul Lozza. Un museo por sesenta días (A museum for sixty days), where a selection of works that the artist had planned for a future monographic museum were shown.
He died in Buenos Aires on January 1th 2008.