Madí (or MADI; also known as Grupo Madí) is an international
abstract (or concrete) art movement initiated in
Buenos Aires in 1946
by the Hungarian-Argentinian artist and poet Gyula Kosice, and the
Carmelo Arden Quin
Carmelo Arden Quin and Rhod Rothfuss.
The movement focuses on creating concrete art (i.e.,
non-representational geometric abstraction) and encompasses all
branches of art (the plastic and pictorial arts, music, literature,
theater, architecture, dance, etc.). The artists in the
consider the concrete, physical reality of the art medium and play
with the traditional conventions of Western art (for instance, by
creating works on irregularly-shaped canvases). Artwork of Madí
movement appeared in eight issues of its magazine, Arte Madí
Universal, published between 1947 and 1954.
1 Historical Context
2 Origin of the name
6 Selected Artists and Artworks
6.1 Gyula Kosice
6.2 Rhod Ruthfuss
6.3 Diyi Laañ
8 Why MADI?
9 See also
11 External links
Madí art movement formed as a reaction to the major concrete art
Argentina at the time, known as the Asociación Arte
Concreto-Invención (AACI), whose art was perceived by the
as being too strict in their method of creating concrete art,
resulting in a lack of expression in their artworks.
Operating under the rule of Colonel Perón, whose time in power was
characterized by a volatile political climate, the
Madí artists used
their art to make statements with social and political implications.
One of the most overt criticisms made by the
Madí movement criticized
cultural authorities in the Arte
Madí Universal magazine, commenting
"[t]he last submission to the Venice Biennial has signified for
Argentina a blunt negation of the new [artistic] values. We invite
competent authorities to stop and compare the true current of
contemporary plastic arts with the submissions that today put us [our
country] half a century behind", which vaguely attack the aesthetic
choices of certain cultural officers under Perón. According to
Concrete art (referring to the Asociación
Arte Concreto-Invención (AACI)) are the artistic parallel(s) of the
political phenomenon of Perónism. These artists were also seen as
combining modern art with Communist ideology. Some scholars, including
Barreiro, saw the government was an outspoken critic against concrete
art as a whole, whereas others such as Andrea Giunta assert that the
Madí and Concrete groups were not victimized under Perón's regime;
rather, they "coexisted on its margins".
The political regime of Perón made use of both linguistic and visual
images for propaganda purposes. This is seen in his use of an image,
"the shirtless workers" (los descamisados), as an alternative to the
concept of the working class. This image had strong connections and
connotations with the male worker, shirtless and, unrealistically,
without much affliction. In a speech given October 17th, 1946 at Plaza
de Mayo, Perón addressed the workers in speeches as "mis queridos
descamiados" (my loving shirtless workers). At this speech, he
declared October 17th the "Day of the Shirtless Workers" and stated "I
don’t want to govern over men but over their hearts, because mine
beats in unison with the heart of each shirtless worker, which I
interpret and love above all things.” The use of representations to
create propaganda opened up a clear target for the
Madí artists to
Origin of the name
Gyula Kosice, who also operated under the pseudonym Raymundo Rasas
Pèt, has explained that the name for the movement is derived from the
Republican motto in the Spanish Civil War, "Madrí, Madrí, no
pasarán" ("Madrid, Madrid, they will not make it in", i.e., the
Francoist forces will not invade Madrid). The name is most
typically understood as an acronym for Movimiento, Abstracción,
Dimensión, Invención (Movement, Abstraction, Dimension,
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Madí work is non-figurative and non-representational; it has a
cut-out or irregularly-shaped form, which takes away the viewer's
perception of spatial depth that a rectangular frame provides; its
colors are flat and sharply defined; it is often three-dimensional and
sometimes articulated and/or mechanical; and it is playful in spirit.
Madí artists were concerned with creating artworks that were
autonomous with functions that naturally transcend the physical
features that constitute the work. Introducing elements of
transformation and ambiguity were techniques commonly employed by
these artists to avoid representation as well as avoid the fixity of
representations. In painted works, some artists would intentionally
lower the legibility of the design.
The incorporation of unusual materials into artworks is seen
throughout the art movement movement; this includes Plexiglas,
fluorescent tubes, neon lights, water, metal, and other materials. An
example of this is seen in Kosice's first hydraulic piece, La
arquitectura del agua: Hidro-escultura (The Architecture of Water:
Hydro-Sculpture), which utilized light and water interaction.
Madí artists sought to combat representational forms because this art
reflected and perpetuated class-based social organizations. They
believed that representational images "forced others to relate to
concepts, connotations, and feelings which were superfluous to the
object itself... which enticed individuals into supporting class-based
Concrete art they produced was meant to have a
reality that was self-contained. In other words, the reality of the
art ended in the object. In the minds of the
Madí artists, "Concrete
art was worthy as a contribution to social liberation" because it
helped its audience grasp true reality while standing against the
concepts, connotations and feelings associated with art. To state this
differently, exposing people to what is actually reality allows people
to eventually confront myths perpetuated by the bourgeois that has
Madí is perhaps the sole remaining art movement which can boast of a
half-century of uninterrupted activity since its creation in Buenos
Aires in 1946. Today, the MADI movement has over 60 members —
painters, sculptors, architects and poets — working in France,
Italy, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Japan,
Argentina and the United
States. One prominent figure behind this fifty years of artistic
creation is Carmelo Arden Quin.
Madí Manifesto was created to defend the importance of invention
in the light of limitations imposed on concrete art by the excessive
rationalism of European concrete art. This strictness of form in
concrete art was also demonstrated by the Asociación Arte
Concreto-Invención (AACI). The manifesto also called for "the
integration of the nonorthogonal framework into representational
In written works, artists "disrupted the construction of semantically
coherent structures" to avoid attaching meaning to the art and the
possibility of representation. The
Madí created a dictionary that
accomplished the opposite of what a normal dictionary does in that it
confused and distorted the meanings of words and made up words. The
following excerpt is from the
Madí dictionary, which demonstrates a
correct grammatical structure that relates ideas that are impossible
to interpret meaningfully. This is an example of this incoherent
construction which prevents interpretation:
Maclode: Upward hill. / Slope to insinuate land.
Meril: Kidnapping of flat centimeters. / Madícional [‘Madí-like’
Madí origin’] opposition and resistance.
Miogue: Account of events in which the authors of great answers
Molois: Site where the most varied adjectives are collected. / Fam.
Musver: About the manner to focus in photography the liveliest glare
of a childhood memory. / Fixation.
Macichud: Line of shade that emits a loosening of gray beams.
Nandy: Arrangement for new personal cuño.
Nem-Er: Record of instances.
Nigs: Opening that is left so that a cluster of enchanted powder
Novoh: Shooter that the riverside authority exercises to learn the
Selected Artists and Artworks
Representatives of the
Madí movement, in addition to Kosice, Quin and
Rothfuss, include Martín Blaszko, Waldo Longo, Juan Bay, Esteban
Eitler, Diyi Laañ, and Valdo Wellington, among others.
Ciudad hidroespacial, 2005
Sobre Relieve, 1950
Pintura Madi, 1948
Hidroluz (Lampara de pie), ca. 1975
Gota de agua, 1960
Revolving water, 1964
Hidroluz [Hydrolight], 1975
3 circulos rojos, 1948
"La batalla de Inod", (short story) 1947
Tiagno, (play script) 1947
Aug. 1946 – Instituto Francés de Estudios Superiores in Buenos
Aires, where the MADI manifesto was read
Oct. 1945 – Concret invencion (French) Location: House of Dr.
Enrique Pichon-Riveiere (leader of Psychoanalytic Societry of
Dec. 1945 – El movimiento de arte concreto-invencion, a multimedia
event which became the hallmark of
Madí exhibitions. Location: House
of Bauhaus- trained photographer Grete Stern
1948 – Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris
1958 – Art
Madí International at the Galerie Denise René
To the question, "Why MADI?" Josee Lapeyrere, who met Arden Quin in
1962 and has since participated with her poem-objects in most of the
events organized by the movement, replies: "MADI's goal is to be
rigorous, inventive, gay and ludic." By the importance to which
they accord spiritual and imaginative games, even the most serious
MADI artists can be described as playful. Already in 1795, Schiller
focused on "the inborn playful nature of man" as an explanation for
his production of art forms. In his essay, "Homo Ludens" ("Ludic Man")
Johan Huizinga observed that, "Play reveals an aspiration to
beauty. The terms we use to designate the elements of play are, for
the most part, the same as those utilized in the aesthetic realm:
beauty, tension, balancing, equilibrium, gradation, contrast, etc.
Like art, play engages and delivers. It absorbs. It captivates, or, in
other words, it charms. It is full of those two supremely noble
qualities which man expresses through rhythm and harmony." The French
art critic Dominique Jacquemin also remarks that, "It is possible that
Arden Quin's passion for game playing led him to create MADI, the only
remaining contemporary art movement which can pride itself in
possessing both coherence and a truly international outlook."
Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
^ Riccardo Boglione (2010-11-19). "Made in Madí: Nelson Di Maggio,
curador de retrospectiva sobre Carmelo Arden Quin". La Diaria.
Retrieved 14 June 2012.
^ "Concrete Invention." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia
Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010. Web. 30 Dec. 2010.
^ a b c d e Pozzi-Harris, Ana (2007). Marginal Disruptions: Concrete
Madí art in Argentina, 1940-1955. The University of Texas at
^ "Entrevista a Gyula Kosice" Archived 29 June 2012 at Archive.is,
Ñusleter Cultura, 12 de agosto de 2006.
^ Laudanno, Claudia (2003), "Carmelo Arden Quin. Estética y ascética
de un madí", ArtNexus, Jan. (47), archived from the original on 15
^ a b c d Bois, Yve-Alan (2001). Geometric Abstraction: Latin American
Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection. Massachusetts:
Harvard University Art Museums.
^ Osornio, Cesar Lopez; Roitman, Ibercaja (1996). MADI internacional
50 años después: exposición del 7 de marzo al 3 de abril de 1996,
Centro de Exposiciones y Congresos, Zaragoza. Ibercaja.
Madi Museum Dallas, Tx
The Hungarian MADI art periodical in English[permanent dea