Romulo Maccio, Argentine (1931 - )

Born in 1931 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A completely self-taught artist, Romulo Maccio entered the world of visual arts as a graphic designer at the young age of fourteen. As a result, an inclination toward strong, graphic effects has remained with the artist throughout his career. He mounted his first solo exhibition of lyrical, abstract painting in Buenos Aires at Galeria Gatea in 1956. From 1958 to 1960, Maccio formed part of the Group Boa, - consisting of artists Martha Peluffo, Clorindo Testa, Osvaldo Borda, Kasuya Sakai, Rogelio Polesello, and Victor Chab - which explored various dimensions of psychic automatism. In 1959, Maccio won the prestigious Argentinean De Ridder Prize for painting and he was awarded the International Di Tella Prize in 1962.

A fundamental turning point in Maccio's development as a draftsman occurred in 1961 with the formation of "Otra Figuracion," an avant-garde group that included Luis Felipe Noé, Jorge de la Vega, and Ernesto Deira. Dedicated to the eradication of artificial beauty in art, which Maccio referred to as the aesthetic of "rosa bombon" (pink chocolate aesthetic). Throughout the 1970's, Maccio painted figural distortions influenced by Francis Bacon and French New Realism. Despite his propensity toward painting, the frequent heavy use of line and strong graphic gestures that characterize this body of pictorial work underscores its formal and conceptual kinship with drawing.

The series of stark paintings entitled Dibujos (Drawings) (1976) illustrates this connection. Referred to as "painted drawings", these works boldly delineate amorphic bodies using high contrast tones and negative spaces. Throughout the 1970's, however, the artist also drew prodigiously, producing thousands of small, quick line drawings that reflected his graphic arts background. Rather than exhibiting these humorous, often socially critical thumbnail sketches and doodles, Maccio published them in book form in 1970.

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