In his article “Artes visuales: Una mirada crítica” Milan Ivelic, the academic, critic, and director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) from 1993 to 2011, offers a wide-ranging review of the various problems besetting the art world in Chile. He provides very important local details that shed light on the environment in which works are produced and on the artists’ milieu. Over time, this article has become a good source for foreign researchers who want to understand and analyze the finer points of the cultural and sociopolitical situation in Chile.
Ivelic’s article was published in the catalogue for Chile Vive, the exhibition presented at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. The goal of the exhibition was to showcase the art that had been fostered by government censorship and a military dictatorship (1973–90), a period that was described as a “cultural blackout.” This exhibition, held in Madrid, showed how the production of works of art (literature, music, theater, and film) did not stop; it just found new places where it could be shown, mainly in private venues and on the premises of certain organizations, alternative cultural centers, and embassies (in their relevant sections, such as the French Institute and the North American Cultural Center). This list indicates the role played by the private sector and foreign organizations in support of the avant-garde art that was shunned by the Chilean government.