The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This essay, written by Vicente Lecuna on the occasion of the Venezuelan artist Sigfredo Chacón’s second one-man show, provides a broad overview of the exhibition. Referring to Chacón’s language, Lecuna finds that there is a well-defined system within the parameters of abstraction, based on a concept of “variation,” that is substantially analogous to the one used in music. Lecuna observes that the “main theme” in painting is usually what is not visible; that is, the tools, methods, and basics of painting, rather than painting itself. He believes that, as a whole, Chacón’s work functions as both a concept and an aesthetic production. He concludes that Chacón’s work can be interpreted as a map: a cartographical work with an intellectual approach to space-time ideas.
The artist and designer Sigfredo Chacón (b. 1950) is an exponent of Venezuelan contemporary art who has pursued a well-defined line of research and creativity within the philosophical, aesthetic, and formal boundaries of conceptual art. In his essay “La cartografía sensible de Sigfredo Chacón”—written on the occasion of the artist’s second one-man show (Sala RG, Caracas 1990)—the Venezuelan medical doctor and writer Vicente Lecuna uses simple, everyday examples to describe and review some of the varied and interesting aspects of Chacón’s work, as well as some of the traits that define conceptual art as both an intellectual and an aesthetic proposition. He thus analyzes the work of art as more of a “process” than a goal, basing his conclusion on what is usually kept hidden to further the illusion; that is, the “concept” (in this case painting) as the subject of the work: a balance between intellectual and aesthetic possibilities.
It is a didactic essay, written in a literary narrative style that the general public would find easy to read, with images and comparisons taken from other expressive or everyday contexts. Lecuna finds a time sequence and a “variation” in Chacón’s work that is similar to the one used in baroque music and jazz. In order to explain that, in his language, the artist explicitly uses and reveals the basics of painting—that is, works of art that reveal their process and their construction—Lecuna uses the example of a building with its frame exposed, or a suit of clothes with exposed seams and stitching. According to Lecuna, there is a procedure in which the concept of sequence (as in cinematography) reaffirms the aesthetic of temporary aspects, and in order to illustrate the communion and balance between “aesthetic and intellect” he points to the literary essay as an example. Before ending his essay, however, the author makes it clear that all the extra-artistic associations that Chacón has presented cannot make us forget that “a painting is a painting,” and goes on to talk about the painterly qualities of his works.