Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this letter dated January 7, 1970, Stanton L. Catlin, an American curator and director of the Center for Inter-American Relations Art Gallery, New York, invites a limited number of people to a private viewing of a work, Reticulárea, by Gego; originally written in English, the letter is on the letterhead of the Center for Inter-American Relations. Catlin invites individuals who he thinks might take an interest in the work of this Venezuelan artist whose production Catlin calls “a meaningful development in the field of environmental sculpture.” He then provides the information necessary to confirm attendance, as well as the date and time of the viewing.

Annotations

Reticulárea by Gego was presented in 1969 in the exhibition Latin American New Painting and Sculpture: Juan Downey, Agustín Fernández, Gego, Gabriel Morera. This letter is a special invitation to those who might be interested in experiencing Gego’s Reticulárea. American art historian Stanton Loomis Catlin (1915­–1997), the first director of the Center for Inter-American Relations Art Gallery, was the source of the invitation. Catlin coordinated the exhibition Art of Latin America since Independence at the Yale University Art Gallery in 1966, which constituted a major contribution to the study of Mexican muralists. The private viewing of Gego’s work that Catlin organized proved very important: it led to a letter—also included in these archives—from David Rockefeller to David Bronheim, the director of the Center for Inter-American Relations; details about the content of that letter are included in its file.

The Center for Inter-American-Relations in New York is now known as the Americas Society. This letter, along with the one from David Rockefeller, was published by the Americas Society in Review: Lectures and Arts of the Americas 38, no. 70 (April 2005).

This letter-invitation (original in English, Spanish translation by María Elena Huizi in 2011) was among the documents selected for publication in the bilingual book Desenredando la red. La Reticulárea de Gego. Una antología de respuestas críticas / Untangling the Web: Gego’s Reticulárea, An Anthology of Critical Response, organized by María Elena Huizi and Ester Crespin, currently in the process of being published by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Fundación Gego, Caracas.

Researcher
María Elena Huizi
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Stanton Loomis Catlin, 1970
Fundación Gego Archives, Caracas, Venezuela