Volcanos and icefields from the great of South America--from South America--have been good teachers for us, small creators born in that faraway silence. I shall never forget the explosions of burning light, the earth shattered on the mountain ridge, on the splendid snow, on human terror--new forms just detached from the uterus of the Earth.
Likewise, as the planet creaked white rivers came down the high-altitude loneliness, leaving in the water colossal figures born of the austral snowdrifts.
This is how Alicia Penalba learned to build stars. She makes them in stone or silver, in gold or wood, but always detaching them from the original magma or the eternal whiteness. Her rugged, explosive creations retain their original aura of that silence, of those thunderstorms able to create or destroy. The streets of the world and the cities leave an indelible mark on artists, with ink from a hardware store or neighborhood shop. Those who come from space still bear on their foreheads the signs of the tempest, the fire, the cold, or the geography.
I read, in Penalba's powerful forehead, the signs I once saw, far away, in the highest transparency or in the natal darkness, the natural signs of greatness.
Paris, February 1972