In 1919 and 1920, Federico Morador y Otero (1896–1977) and Ildefonso Pereda Valdés (1899–1996) attempted to convey some of the tenets of the ultraist movement by publishing Los Nuevos, a journal of arts and letters [on that subject, see in the ICAA digital archive Jorge Luis Borges’s text “Ultraísmo” (732642)]. This period of modernist change was influenced, on the one hand, by Spanish ultraísmo and, on the other, by nativist, criollista, and regionalist tendencies. Los Nuevos disseminated the European avant-gardes; it contained the first translations ever published in Uruguay of texts by Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, and Paul Réverdy.
This document evidences the emergence of modernism in Uruguayan art and foretells the later influence of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) and of his disciples Charles Despiau (1874–1946) and Antoine Bourdelle (1861–1929) on young Uruguayan sculptors of the 1920s. The spirit of innovation that lies behind this article had already taken hold at the Escuela del Círculo de Bellas Artes (in operation from 1905–43). Adherents to the lyrical modern spirit palpable in Rodin’s work included sculptors of the stature of Luis Falcini (1889–1973)—who taught at the Círculo de Bellas Artes—Bernabé Michelena (1888–1963), and Germán Cabrera (1903–90).