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.
The anonymous author of the prologue to this exhibition catalogue places emphasis on the need for the Taller Libre de Arte (TLA) to prepare high school students—especially those enrolled in the Liceo Fermín Toro—to become a source of aesthetic motivation. The text announces the group’s intention to become the locus of future experiences while describing one of the TLA’s first group exhibitions. The TLA, the text explains, is an incipient movement to revitalize the visual arts in Venezuela. The group’s main asset lies in the multiplicity of tendencies, aims, and procedures it brings together for a common aesthetic purpose.
This show of the Taller Libre de Arte (TLA) was held from May 22 to June 5, 1949 and organized in conjunction with the Cultural Department of the Liceo Fermín Toro, a high school in Caracas. The TLA held a total of three shows at the Liceo Fermín Toro: the first, which took place from October 3 to 17, 1948, for which Bernardo Chataing wrote the catalogue text; the second, for which this anonymous text was written; and the third, which opened on June 11, 1950, for which Luis Berroterán wrote a text. Significantly, this text contains the clarification “[…] the group shows held at this school are worthy of mention […]”. In his Textos sobre arte (Caracas: Fundación Editorial El Perro y la Rana, 2007), Francisco Da Antonio places emphasis on the leadership and enthusiasm shown by Jean Nouel, Rafael Rivero Oramas, and José Fernández Díaz at the Liceo Fermín Toro and their crucial role, starting in the second half of 1947, in taking in members of the Barraca de Mari-Pérez—activists in social realism—and students at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas. The TLA’s intensive work at a number of different high schools in Caracas was an integral part of the movement’s strategy to expand and consolidate. High schools were considered environments in which to build bridges between art and education since, by the time of this exhibition, the Liceo Fermín Toro had a Cultural Department.
For other texts on the TLA, see Rafael Pineda’s untitled introduction to the movement (doc. no. 1101650); Bernardo Chataing’s “Texto presentación” (doc. no. 1101666), the prologue to the TLA’s first group show; Luis Berroterán’s “Texto presentación 3 Salón de jóvenes pintores del Taller Libre de Arte” (doc. no. 1063067); Rafael Pineda’s untitled text [“Llegó el momento de ordenar el lenguaje universal (…)”] (doc. no. 1101650); and “Han sido destituídos todos los profesores del Taller Libre de Arte” (doc. no. 1172267), an article reporting on the disappearance of the TLA and its replacement by the INCIBLA.