Damián Carlos Bayón (1915-95) was a critic and art historian active from the 1940s until his death. Born in Argentina, he spent much of his adult life traveling among numerous Latin American cities (especially Mexico City and Buenos Aires), and New York and Paris writing about contemporary Latin American art. He was full professor in The University of Texas at Austin in the 1970s. This text by Bayón—“Contestación a una pregunta: ¿Cuándo se vuelve latinoamericano el arte en América Latina?” [“Answer to a Query: When does Art in Latin America become Latin American Art?”]—appeared in the April-June 1976 issue of Revista de Artes Visuales, a journal published in Mexico City by Carla Stellweg. It circulated among Latin American critics and artists living and working in Latin America, the U.S, and Europe. In this text, Bayón argues for a concept of “Latin American art” rooted in artists’ ability to innovate formally. He positions himself against what he calls “indigenismos fáciles” [facile native themes] and cites Peruvian artists José Sabogal (1888-1956) and Fernando de Szyszlo (b. 1925) as examples thereof. Instead, he traces a history of innovators, artists who, he explains, made work that expressed the concerns of their time and place and transcended this specificity. He cites examples of Mexican and Argentinean Modernism, such as the Mexican mural painters and Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971) and Pedro Figari (1861-1938) as exemplars of this formally and ideologically rooted Latin American art. He also lauds contemporary artists working in geometrically abstract styles for their ability to invent new parameters that are uniquely their own. Throughout the text, Bayón is notably preoccupied with forcing his readers to own up to Latin American art’s inextricable bonds with Europe. Latin American art has suffered, he argues, by attempting to distance itself from Europe. Instead, Bayón urges his readers to consider the fundamentals of artistic production: originality and the success with which an artwork is conceived, created, and received.