Caracas, del 25 de septiembre al 16 de octubre. Fotocopia.
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This preface was written by the artist for the catalogue of his own exhibition Eugenio Espinoza: 1985–1988 at the Galería Tito Salas in Caracas (1988). Here the artist writes an analytical review of the ideas that govern the art he has produced in the past three years, now gathered in this exhibition. The Venezuelan artist states his feeling that “some ideas have been developed and others ‘have been lost’ but will perhaps reappear someday.” Espinoza assesses the ideas that one way or another are present in all his work, even if they are not visible, such as the grid. He comments on his treatment of color and space, as well as his intention to resolve the entire plane of the painting “in a pictorial way.”
This short preface for the catalogue of the exhibition Eugenio Espinoza 1985–1988 (Caracas: Galería Tito Salas/ Fundación José Ángel Lamas, 1988) performs a function that is unusual in Venezuela: it is a critical, analytical critique of the writer’s own artwork. As such, it shows how important it is to him, as one of the major representatives of Venezuelan Conceptual art, to undertake a rational process in the conception and execution of his work. This text is a good example of the thinking of Eugenio Espinoza (b. 1950): thoughtful, simplified, and unequivocal, avoiding any wordy explanation of his ideas. He comments on and assesses the essential postulates of his work as Conceptual artwork: ideas (such as the grid) that are constantly maintained in the background, in spite of the changes that have taken place in his work over time. The artist shows the fundamental importance of the grid when he defines it as the “coordinating element of the ideas of each painting.” In this document, we see a characteristic pointed out before by Lourdes Blanco (at the time of the 1984 exhibition Cincoincidentes): the artist’s vocation as a “pure painter” by training and talent, for his “pictorial way” of analyzing and resolving art challenges. Espinoza speaks of the freedom that allows him to move between extremes: from “painting that is almost gestural” to painting that is “hardly gestural at all.” At the same time, the painter takes it upon himself to discredit opinions claiming that he uses dark, austere colors to represent “superficial ideas”: whether “night,” “sadness,” or even “mystery”; in his opinion, “a given idea can be expressed in any color.”