The Premio Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Instituto Torcuato Di Tella Prize] was established in 1960, a few months after the opening of the Centro de Arte del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (ITDT) [Instituto Torcuato Di Tella’s Center for the Arts], whose board members included Lionello Venturi, Ricardo Camino, Guido Di Tella, and Jorge Romero Brest (1905-89). The goal of the Center was to aid in the dissemination and promotion of the visual arts, and to stay in touch with other art centers, both locally and abroad. The ITDT Prize was conceived as a way to give young Argentine artists a chance to broaden their horizons overseas; in addition to granting the prize/scholarship, it also introduced international art at the local level, thereby becoming a significant catalyst for the renewal of contemporary expression. Until 1967 the Prize was given to both local and international artists, with a few exceptions. Its name was later changed and it became Experiencias Visuales [Visual Practices], which is what it was called in 1968 and 1969. Romero Brest resigned from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Museum of Fine Arts] in 1963 and was named director of the ITDT’s Centro de Artes Visuales [Visual Arts Center]. This document is important because of the light it throws on the workings of the Premio Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Prize], especially as regards the extension of the international contest that introduced the works of the most innovative contemporary foreign artists and involved local artists. Similarly, the reference to celebrated critics and directors of international institutions on the jury indicates a desire to expose them to Argentine cultural circles.
Also of interest here is the list of artists represented at the Premio Nacional e Internacional Torcuato Di Tella de 1964 [1964 National and International Torcuato Di Tella Prize]: Yacov Agam (b. 1928), Arman, Enrico Baj, Lee Bontecou (b. 1931), Chryssa (b. 1933), Alberto Gironella (1929-99), Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Julio Le Parc (b. 1928), Luis Felipe Noé (b. 1933), Kenneth Noland (1924-2010), Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), Takis (b. 1925) and Joe Tilsson. The list for the National Prize included: Roberto Aizenberg, Osvaldo Borda, Oscar Curtido, Ernesto Deira, Jorge de la Vega, Víctor Magariños D., Marta Minujín, Marta Peluffo, Emilio Renart, and Carlos Silva. The judges were: Clement Greenberg (1909-94), Pierre Restany (1930-2003), and Romero Brest himself. A comparison of the two lists—artists selected and artists present—reveals the absence of Fritz Hundertwasser.