Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this newspaper article, Mara Comerlati writes about the TAGA (Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados, Caracas); she discusses its origins, its reason for being, and its objectives. She also identifies its benefactors and describes how the association operates and how it benefits graphic artists. In this article, Comerlati interviews Marlene Belloso, assistant to Luisa Palacios (TAGA’s director), who explains that the association’s intern program is designed to educate government officials about the function of the workshop and the preservation and exhibition of graphic works of art. Comerlati also interviews Carolina Campos, a graphic artist, who outlines the advantages of producing graphic arts at the TAGA.  

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This newspaper article by Mara Comerlati, published in 1984, is about TAGA, the graphic artists association’s workshop which, at that time, had been operating for four years. The article is divided into three parts: (1) TAGA’s history; (2) the group’s internship and exhibition programs; and (3) opinions expressed by artists about the organization’s work. The article discusses the TAGA’s evolution over its 4-year lifespan and the subtle modifications that have been made to its original operational model. For example, Comerlati points out that artists were to leave four copies of their works at TAGA, whereas the earlier articles had stipulated three. The fourth copy was to be used for “promotion” (exposure and sales). This article, in fact, seeks to promote the groups’ works in museum stores and galleries in Caracas. Comerlati speaks about the “difficult economic situation,” referring to the fact that Venezuela was experiencing a crisis sparked by a steep devaluation of the currency (1983). The resulting shortage of goods affected Venezuelan graphic artists since most of the materials they used were imported; hence the importance of the TAGA, which provided them with space at a reasonable cost. It is interesting that, despite the crisis, a considerable number of local artists were involved in TAGA, in addition to the foreign artists and printers who came to the workshop to share their knowledge and skills with Venezuelan printmakers. As to the TAGA’s didactic activities, the internship program involving the Zulia provincial government (originally in Maracaibo) deserves a mention; this program sought to educate state government employees about the production, preservation, and exhibition of graphic art so that they might in turn present workshops on these subjects in their local communities. Although this program was not hugely successful, it reflects the degree to which Venezuela was exposed to the art of printmaking at that time thanks to TAGA’s efforts.

 

For more information on TAGA, see the critical essay by Bélgica Rodríguez “El TAGA: un sueño de verdad” [doc. no. 1068980]; see also two other newspaper articles by Comerlati: “El TAGA aspira a ser la casa del artista gráfico venezolano” [doc. no. 1081133], and “Al reencuentro de Pedro Ángel González a través de sus grabados” [doc. no. 1164576]; and by Zuleiva Vivas “La huella del grabado” [doc. no. 1101476].

Researcher
Milagros González
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Reproduced with permission of Mara Comerlati, Caracas, Venezuela
Location
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.