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In this prologue to an exhibition held at Estudio Actual in 1972, critic Inocente Palacios analyzes Jacobo Borges’s pictorial work, which he considers socially committed art. He asserts that the decline of the representation of the human figure, and therefore of painting—a process that began with Cubism and was furthered by abstraction and Kinetic art—has not been able to do away with the representation of the figure in art. In his view, that representation has re-emerged in the new figuration formulated by socially committed art. While Palacios sees Borges as part of that tendency, he asserts that unlike other artists, Borges is more interested in the collective than in the individual. Borges’s work creates what Palacios calls “group archetypes” that represent social classes. The critic asserts that Borges engages in combat through his art without inciting hatred. His painting exceeds the anecdotal to constitute “a true visual fact” that moves us thanks to its quality.


With this text, Venezuelan critic, collector, and art advocate Inocente Palacios (1908?96) presents the exhibition of work by Jacobo Borges (b. 1931) held at Galería Estudio Actual in Caracas in 1972. Insofar as Palacio’s criticism almost exclusively addresses the thematic and ideological facets of Borges’s work, paying less attention to its visual qualities, it is in keeping with criticism by other Venezuelan researchers, such as Juan Calzadilla and Perán Erminy. In his brief discussion of contemporary painting, Palacios re-creates the longstanding conflict between figuration and abstraction; in his view, art has declined as it has veered toward abstraction. This text on Borges’s work then celebrates the reconquest of the human and the rebirth of art. 


For other texts on Jacobo Borges’s work, see by Donald Kuspit “Jacobo Borges’s creation of potential space / Jacobo Borges e la creazione dello spazio potenziale” [doc. no. 1060608]; by Perán Erminy “Sin título. [Una exposición de obras de Jacobo Borges]” [doc. no. 1060424]; the review by Elizabeth Pérez Luna entitled “Jacobo Borges: La pasión de la identidad” [doc. no. 1063714]; the essay by historian Berta Taracena “Jacobo Borges en México” [doc. no. 1063795]; by critic Roberto Guevara “Sin título. [Un día el poeta sentó la belleza en sus rodillas…]” [doc. no. 1060477]; the interview by Lenelina Delgado “Somos una ficción” [doc. no. 1063831]; the one by Armando J. Florez entitled “El artista debe superar las limitaciones de las ideologías: Jacobo Borges en Nueva York” [doc. no. 1065435]; and the one by José Luis Colin “Entre la acción colectiva y la búsqueda individual: Jacobo Borges” [doc. no. 1063769].

Josefina Manrique
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Inocente Palacios, 1972
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas. Cota: 750.92 R324 B665 e.4