This letter appeared in the catalogue for the retrospective exhibition honoring forty years of Nemesio Antúnez’s printmaking at the Galería Praxis (June 6 to July 8, 1989) in Santiago, Chile. It is a personal, emotional message from Nemesio to his son Pablo, which takes us back through the recent history of this graphic discipline in Chile and reminds us of his important contribution to contemporary printmaking, which he transformed from a minor art into the focus of a lively art scene [for more on this subject, see the ICAA Digital Archive “De como empezó la enseñanza de Antúnez” (774610) by Roser Bru]. On the occasion of his fiftieth retrospective, another earlier letter (also addressed to Pablo, but in this case about painting) was published by the Galería Praxis as “Carta aérea” (Airmail Letter, 1988), the first published insight into the printmaker’s life and work.
Nemesio Antúnez (1918–93) was a noted Chilean visual artist who created cultural spaces and networks in Chile and elsewhere in order to promote, share, and democratize art. While he was working and teaching, he also held the post of Cultural Attaché in New York City (1964–69); he was the director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad de Chile (1961–64), where he organized the first of four American print biennials. He twice sought to transform the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes into a live, open museum, during the Unidad Popular (1969–73) administration and following the country’s return to democracy (1990–93). He also worked to create initiatives such as the radio program Arte desde Nueva York (Art from New York) and the TV show Ojo con el arte (Watch Out for Art).