In late 1955, Brazilian critic Marc Bercowitz visited Lima briefly. While there, he took part in the debates on abstract art polarizing the Peruvian art scene at the time. In this short article, Bercowitz asserts that a new generation of international-quality artists in Peru had come to his attention. Paradoxically, those young artists must struggle against the animosity of the local press. He asserts that art critics in Latin America must focus on supporting their artists and on ensuring the quality of works—conditions basic to putting together a still nonexistent institutionality. This text represented a direct attack on the stance against abstraction of many Lima-based critics, among them eminent writer Sebastián Salazar Bondy (1924–65). Indeed, the “informative” criticism Bercowitz extolled was formalist in nature and, as such, akin to the vision of Salazar Bondy’s rival, modern theorist and architect Luis Miró Quesada Garland (1914–94). In fact, Bercowitz’s article was published in Miró Quesada Garland’s weekly column in El Comercio newspaper. In his response to Bercowitz, Salazar Bondy defended the work of his colleagues in Lima [see in ICAA digital archive the article “Sobre un artículo de M. Bercowitz: el periodismo, la crítica y el arte” (1137975)], and the commitment necessary to anything worthy of calling itself criticism.
The next year, Bercowitz would reaffirm his interest in new art from Peru by advocating the exhibition of work by painter Fernando de Szyszlo (b. 1925) and sculptor Joaquín Roca Rey (1923–2004) held at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM-RJ).