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The critic and historian Perán Erminy evaluates the work presented by the painter Jacobo Borges at the exhibition Jacobo Borges. Dibujos recientes, hosted by the ¡Viva México! gallery in Caracas. Erminy claims that the Venezuelan artist’s goal is to produce works of social commentary, which is why he uses any kind of expressive media, such as paint or film, in his work. According to Erminy, Borges’ pictorial work is the fruit of a grueling intellectual process, which explains why there is so little of it. In the only oil painting in the exhibition, each object acts as a unit of independent, precise “visual information,” unlike his earlier works. In his highly expressive series of drawings, Borges the painter adopts a narrative tone that is both clear and direct, making it easy to recognize what he expresses. In Erminy’s opinion, these characteristics of Borges’ recent drawings—stripped of formal purities, sentimentalism, and games—become both “a weapon for social combat” and an example of “true humanism.”
In this essay, the Venezuelan art critic and historian Perán Erminy (1929–2018) reviews Jacobo Borges. Dibujos recientes by the Venezuelan painter Jacobo Borges (b. 1931), exhibition presented in February 1971 at the ¡Viva México! gallery in Caracas. Erminy discusses the work Borges produced following his return to painting after spending about five years working in other media, including film. During that period, Borges wrote, produced, and directed Venezuela’s first multimedia spectacle, Imagen de Caracas, an intense group experience based on a historical theme that was presented on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Caracas, an event that Erminy refers to in this essay. The critic speaks highly of the great communicative power of Borges’ painting, which he describes as possessing increasing clarity, seeking to highlight the expressive elements in his drawing and painting that support his argument: the expressive synthesis and the “active power of the artistic image” that allow viewers to grasp his message of social criticism. It is interesting to note the fact that Erminy does not associate that clarity—Borges’ search for “visual information” and its impact on people—with the results of the research into the codes and semiotics (of the visual communication media) that occupied his time during the years when he was not painting.
Regarding the work of Jacobo Borges, see the article by Donald Kuspit “Jacobo Borges’s creation of potential space” [doc. no. 1060608]; the newspaper review by Elizabeth Pérez Luna “Jacobo Borges: La pasión de la identidad” [doc. no. 1063714]; the article by the critic Inocente Palacios “Jacobo Borges” [doc. no. 1060361]; the essay by the historian Berta Taracena “Jacobo Borges en México” [doc. no. 1063795]; the article by the critic Roberto Guevara “Sin título. [Un día el poeta sentó la belleza en sus rodillas…]” [doc. no. 1060477]; the interview by Lenelina Delgado, entitled “Somos una ficción” [doc. no. 1063831]; the interview by Armando J. Florez “El artista debe superar las limitaciones de las ideologías: Jacobo Borges en Nueva York” [doc. no. 1065435]; and the interview by José Luis Colin “Entre la acción colectiva y la búsqueda individual: Jacobo Borges” [doc. no. 1063769].