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    Edgar Negret : de la máquina al mito / José María Salvador González

    Edgar Negret : de la máquina al mito, 1957- 1991. --- Caracas, Venezuela : centro cultural El Crisol, 1991

    p. 17- 54 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Chronology

    Salvador González, José María. "Edgar Negret: de la máquina al mito." In Edgar Negret: de la máquina al mito, 1957- 1991, 17- 54. Caracas, Venezuela: Centro Cultural El Crisol, 1991.

    Museo Rufino Tamayo; Negret, Edgar, 1920-2012

“Édgar Negret. De la máquina al mito” by Venezuelan art historian José María Salvador provides a brief chronological analysis of Édgar Negret’s production from 1957 to 1991. Salvador divides Negret’s work into three major periods. The first spans from 1957 to 1963 and encompasses the important series of sculptures Aparatos mágicos, Vigilantes, and Eclipses, all directly related to the artist’s experiences in Mallorca, Paris, and New York. The second period encompasses Negret’s production pursuant to his return to Bogotá. It spans from 1963 to 1981 and includes the series entitled Navegantes, Acoplamientos, Puentes, Escaleras, Edificios, Metamorfosis, and Templos, which deal with urban life and architecture. The final period, which dates from 1982 to 1991, consists of what Salvador calls the “Inca Period,” when Negret produced work based on ideas he encountered and explored in 1980 during a trip to archeological ruins in Upper Peru.


This text by art historian José María Salvador was written for a retrospective exhibition of work by Édgar Negret (1920?2012) held at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Chapultepec, Mexico City from October 24 to December 24, 1991, and at the Museo de Monterrey from February 13 to May 17, 1992. That show was the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of Negret’s work to be held to date outside Colombia.


Salvador’s text identifies a number of factors that illustrate “the complex and plural eidetic and symbolic content” of Negret’s sculpture. Salvador argues that the Colombian sculptor’s works are more than just “sterile abstractions in aluminum.” The author highlights concepts, emotions, experiences, ideas, sensations, and gestures that go well beyond the formal and material aspects of Negret’s sculptures.


Salvador’s text is one of the first to categorize and attempt to define a group of sculptures produced by Negret from 1982 to 1991, a set of works from what Salvador calls Negret’s “Inca Period.” In 1980, Negret traveled to Peru and visited a number of Inca ruins. According to Salvador, from then on Negret’s sculpture, “whose themes, formal models, and meaning had been inspired by machines and nature, looked to the universe of pre-Columbian life, myths, and symbols.” Salvador argues that, pursuant to that trip, Negret’s aesthetic concepts experienced an upheaval evident in his subsequent work.

Nicolás Bonilla Maldonado
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Document belongs to the Private Archive of the author, José María Salvador González, Madrid, España