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Mara Comerlati reviews Prueba de artista, the exhibition that was presented at the Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados (TAGA), the Venezuelan artists’s workshop. The journalist interviews the artist Luisa Palacios, who reports that the posthumous exhibition includes some of the one thousand six hundred artist’s proofs that Elisa Elvira Zuloaga produced during her career. Palacios describes Zuloaga’s printing technique, explaining that she “made proof after proof” until she produced one that satisfied her. Comerlati notes that the exhibition at TAGA was presented at the same time as the educational exhibition at the Sala de Exposiciones de la Casa Bellard, at the Instituto Autónomo Biblioteca Nacional, in Caracas.  


This newspaper article by Mara Comerlati (b. 1952) provides insight into the legacy of the pioneer of Venezuelan printmaking, Elisa Elvira Zuloaga (1900–80), a year after her death. The Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados (TAGA) organized an exhibition that documented the artist’s methodical work; she produced a great many proofs in search of the best version upon which to base the final run of a particular print. Though this sort of thoroughness is hardly unusual among printmakers, Zuloaga was famous for her obsessive insistence on perfection. This leads the Venezuelan artist Luisa Palacios (Zuloaga’s niece, and the director of TAGA) to extol the demanding standards and hard work of her aunt at the printing press as an example for young printmakers. Comerlati also mentions the educational exhibition that was presented concurrently at the National Library, which underscores the well-known drive to designate Zuloaga as a master of masters. Though that was not the underlying intention, the artist’s exhibition at TAGA sought to convey the concept of the “artists’ proof” as a way to teach young printers that the artist’s painstaking work is what makes him or her a master. The exhibition at the Biblioteca Nacional—which was also educational in terms of printing techniques—was presented concurrently with the one at TAGA as a tribute to Zuloaga, a way to celebrate her life and work through her legacy as a teacher.       


[Regarding the TAGA workshop, see in the ICAA digital archive by Bélgica Rodríguez “El TAGA: un sueño de verdad” (doc. no. 1068980); by Juan Calzadilla “Las pruebas materiales del TAGA” (doc. no. 1069019); 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) 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 Mara Comerlati, Caracas, Venezuela
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.