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Juan Calzadilla describes the early days of contemporary printmaking in Venezuela, and discusses how the founders of the discipline (Elisa Elvira Zuloaga and Pedro Ángel González) set about developing a second generation of printmakers. This second generation (Luis Chacón, Luisa Zuloaga de Palacios, Luis Guevara Moreno, and Antonio Granados Valdés) laid the foundation of the printmaking tradition, originally at El Taller (started by Luisa Palacios), and subsequently at TAGA (Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados). Calzadilla describes the latter organization and discusses its objectives.


This article by the critic, curator, and artist Juan Calzadilla is important because of its timing vis-à-vis the events in question. It was published ten years after the TAGA (Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados) was founded, so the events that Calzadilla discusses (basically, from Luisa Palacios’ El Taller to the TAGA) are relatively recent, and the latter association itself was still active. It is interesting to note that Calzadilla does not mention the CEGRA (Centro de Enseñanza Gráfica), which was undoubtedly another of the TAGA’s predecessors. The author acknowledges the importance of TAGA, explaining that “it is the most complete attempt so far to promote the art of printmaking, and is somehow, a reflection of the workshop’s efforts to bring printmakers together to work alongside each other in one shared facility.” Calzadilla stresses the systematic nature of the teaching process and the participating artists’ professional relationships as they go about their daily work; in his opinion, these were key components in the success of TAGA. The article is also important because of Calzadilla’s all-encompassing description of what came before modern Venezuelan printmaking, what was going on prior to the introduction of lithography, the first print shop at the Academia de Bellas Artes, and the importance of Pedro Ángel González and Elisa Elvira Zuloaga, the harbingers of what was to come.


[For more about the TAGA, see in the ICAA digital archive by Bélgica Rodríguez “El TAGA: un sueño de verdad” (doc. no. 1068980); by Zuleiva Vivas “La Huella del grabado” (doc. no. 1101476); the newspaper articles by Mara Comerlati “El TAGA le ofrece al artista la libertad de crear” (doc. no. 1101412), “Los mejores grabados de Elisa Elvira Zuloaga” (doc. no. 1080981), and “El TAGA aspira a ser la casa del artista gráfico venezolano” (doc. no. 1081133); the article by Juan Carlos Palenzuela “Atelier huella” (doc. no. 1101460); and by L. B. S. “Creado el taller de artistas gráficos: en la dimensión de la Venezuela verdadera” (doc. no. 1081157)].

Milagros González
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Reproduced with permission of Juan Calzadilla, Caracas, Venezuela.
Reproduced with the permission of C.A. Editora El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela
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