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In this article, the critic Roberto Guevara discusses the early days of the Venezuelan graphic arts, explaining that graphic artists were self-taught, and recalling the recent past of this particular technique. Guevara analyzes the importance of the Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados (TAGA), listing the pioneer artists who created schools and the institutions that facilitated the establishment of a workshop where artists could work together on a daily basis—the shop commonly known as “Taga.” He ends his article with an outline of the role that this workshop played in the history of Venezuelan art.
By the time the Venezuelan critic and curator Roberto Guevara (1932–98) wrote this article, the Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados (TAGA) had already been operating for four years, having made an agreement with the Instituto Nacional de Hipódromos and become established at its new and permanent premises at Los Rosales (both of which were in Caracas). By 1980, TAGA’s busy schedule was apparent when comparing this article with the substantial press coverage of the workshop’s activities at the time, including numerous exhibitions, the launch of the traditional Exposición de Miniaturas Gráficas (which TAGA started organizing three months after Guevara’s article was published) and the corresponding prizes and, finally, the art critics’ reviews of the work and potential of this artists’ collective. Guevara’s article provides insight into the critics’ views on the subject of the association: “TAGA represents the climax of the potent groundswell of affirmation and expansion for the graphic arts in Venezuela. It constitutes a professional and rigorous expression of the graphic arts in a stimulating environment of cooperation and interaction with other artists.” The article states that TAGA is a place where trained artists can continue to learn, enriching their technical experience by working with other artists. Guevara published this article in “Artes Plásticas,” his regular column in El Nacional, the Caracas newspaper.