“Ventana abierta al mundo de Antúnez,” by the writer and art critic Enrique Lihn (1929–1988), is a detailed essay about Nemesio Antúnez (1918–1993) and the early years of his career as an artist. It was published in 1956, the same year in which Antúnez started the Taller 99, the workshop attended by many artists, such as Luz Donoso (1921–2008), Pedro Millar (1930–2014), Eduardo Vilches (b. 1932), Roser Bru (1923–2021), Dinora Doudtchitzky (1914–2004), and Jaime Cruz (b. 1934), among others. The Taller provided a space where artists could experiment in a supportive environment that encouraged group works and theoretical discussion. It also enjoyed links to formal art instruction, and several members helped to start the Escuela de Arte de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 1959. Taller 99 moved to the university’s Casa Central in 1961, and eventually found a home on the Escuela’s permanent premises. This allowed the Escuela de Arte to create a distinctive profile of its own, and its affiliation with printmaking left its mark on those who studied there.
In 1962 Antúnez was appointed to the position of director of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, an affiliate of the Universidad de Chile. In 1969 he was appointed director of the MNBA (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), where he supported an experimental program that transformed the museum from its architectural roots and focused it on the fine arts. This led to the incorporation of other artistic disciplines that furthered its educational goals and encouraged greater contact with the general public. It also prompted the presentation of contemporary events such as the exhibition Salón de Otoño, Pinturas, Poemas y Explicaciones (1971), a solo show of works by Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948), and Cuerpos Blandos by Juan Pablo Langlois (1936–2019). The museum’s innovative plans were violently interrupted by the military coup d’état (1973–90). Two years earlier, Antúnez was the presenter of the television show Ojo con el arte, a ten-minute program broadcast in prime time that was designed to provide art instruction to the general viewing public. [On the subject of Antúnez’s approach to printmaking, see the following in the ICAA Digital Archive: “Carta sobre el grabado” (doc. 749419); for more information on the evolution of printmaking, see: “El grabado contemporáneo” (doc. 773546) by Enrique Solanich or “Memoria fracturada del grabado chileno” (doc. 767023) by Jaime Cruz.]