"Introducción." In Pintura contemporánea venezolana. Exh. cat., Bogotá, Colombia: Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, 1963.
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This document is the introduction to the catalogue of a show of contemporary painting from Venezuela organized in June 1963 by the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) of Bogotá in conjunction with the exhibition hall of the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango. This was the first exhibition organized by the museum and, according to the text, its theme was chosen due to the close historical and cultural ties between Colombia and neighboring Venezuela and the parallels in the development of the two countries’ visual languages. The text asserts that there are two main reasons for the fact that the Venezuelan art scene has developed at a more rapid pace than its Colombian counterpart: the existence of stimulating art-related publications and greater support for artists as reflected in quality museums and collections both institutional and private. On the whole, the text expresses disapproval for the museum’s attempt to overcome differences, in particular, and support for establishing a dialogue between the various art scenes in Latin America in general.
This document evidences a major event in the history of the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) of Bogotá. It provides information on the first exhibition organized by that institution and on the international nature of the museum’s intentions as it supports Modern art not only from Colombian but from the region as a whole. In addition to this brief introduction, the illustrated catalogue contains a list of the works on exhibit, photographs, biographies of participating artists, some notes by critics on the art scene in Venezuela, and other details pertinent to the event.
According to the catalogue, this show of Venezuelan painting entailed collaboration with both the Museo de Bellas Artes of Caracas and the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango of Bogotá, on whose premises the exhibition was held. This collaboration was necessary because the permanent seat of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá would not be established for another four months. The museum’s first annual report (issued in 1963) states that this exhibition “is the largest of Venezuelan art to be held in the country to date. It consisted of sixty-three highly valuable works of Venezuelan art.” The “luxurious catalogue” published in conjunction with the exhibition was distributed to members of the museum and to collaborators, as well as other museums in Latin America and the United States.
By including both abstract and figurative artists, this exhibition shed light on the complexity and breadth of the Venezuelan art scene which, according to the introduction to the catalogue, should serve as a model for the more limited Colombian scene. Twelve of the works exhibited were donated by their authors to form the basis of the museum’s permanent collection. Artists invited to participate included Humberto Jaimes (b. 1930), Ángel Luque (b. 1927), Elsa Gramckon (b. 1925), Mateo Manaure (b. 1928), Maruja Rolando (1923-70), Héctor Poleo (1918–89), Alberto Brandt (1924–70), Jacobo Borges (b. 1931), Carlos Cruz-Díez (b. 1923), Alejandro Otero (1921–90), and Jesús Rafael Soto (1923–2005). Related documents include the Primer informe anual de actividades, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá – 1963 [doc. no. 1093526].