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Madí (or MADI) is an international abstract art movement initiated in Buenos Aires in 1946 by the Hungarian-Argentinian artist and poet Gyula Kosice, and the Uruguayans Carmelo Arden Quin and Rhod Rothfuss.[1]

Concrete art[edit]

The movement encompasses all branches of art (the plastic and pictorial arts, music, literature, theater, architecture, dance, etc.) and promotes concrete art (i.e., non-representational geometric abstraction). The artists in the Madí movement typically focus on the concrete, physical reality of the medium and play with the traditional conventions of Western art (for instance, by creating works on irregularly-shaped canvases).[2] Representatives of the movement, in addition to Kosice, Quin and Rothfuss, are Martín Blaszko, Waldo Longo, Juan Bay, Esteban Eitler, Diyi Laañ, Valdo Wellington, among others.

Origin of the name[edit]

Gyula Kosice has explained that the name for the movement is derived from the Republican motto in the Spanish Civil War, "Madrí, Madrí, no pasarán" ("Madrid, Madrid, they will not make it in", i.e., the Francoist forces will not invade Madrid).[3] The name is most typically understood as an acronym for Movimiento, Abstracción, Dimensión, Invención (Movement, Abstraction, Dimension, Invention).[4]


A MADI work is non-figurative; it has a cut-out or irregularly-shaped form; its colors are flat and sharply defined; it is often three-dimensional and sometimes articulated and/or mechanical; and it is playful in spirit. MADI is perhaps the sole remaining art movement which can boast of a half-century of uninterrupted activity since its creation in Buenos Aires in 1946. Today, the MADI movement has over 60 members — painters, sculptors, architects and poets — working in France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Japan, Argentina and the United States. The man behind this fifty years of artistic creation is Carmelo Arden Quin.

Why MADI?[edit]

To the question, "Why MADI?" Josee Lapeyrere, who met Arden Quin in 1962 and has since participated with her poem-objects in most of the events organized by the movement, replies: "MADI's goal is to be rigorous, inventive, gay and ludic." [5] By the importance to which they accord spiritual and Imaginative games, even the most serious MADI artists can be described as playful. Already in 1795, Schiller focused on "the inborn playful nature of man" as an explanation for his production of art forms. In his remarkable essay, "Homo Ludens" ("Ludic Man") (1938), Johan Huizinga observed that, "Play reveals an aspiration to beauty. The terms we use to designate the elements of play are, for the most part, the same as those utilized in the aesthetic realm: beauty, tension, balancing, equilibrium, gradation, contrast, etc. Like art, play engages and delivers. It absorbs. It captivates, or, in other words, it charms. It is full of those two supremely noble qualities which man expresses through rhythm and harmony." The French art critic Dominique Jacquemin also remarks that, "It is possible that Arden Quin's passion for game playing led him to create MADI, the only remaining contemporary art movement which can pride itself in possessing both coherence and a truly international outlook."


  1. ^ Riccardo Boglione (2010-11-19). "Made in Madí: Nelson Di Maggio, curador de retrospectiva sobre Carmelo Arden Quin". La Diaria. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Concrete Invention." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010. Web. 30 Dec. 2010. <>.
  3. ^ "Entrevista a Gyula Kosice", Ñusleter Cultura, 12 de agosto de 2006.
  4. ^ Laudanno, Claudia (2003), "Carmelo Arden Quin. Estética y ascética de un madí", ArtNexus, Jan. (47) 
  5. ^ Madi internacional 50 anos despues.

External links[edit]