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Carlos Raygada claims that José Sabogal’s work combines technical mastery with a “moody” aesthetic to produce an accurate expression of the country’s sensibilities. The critic describes Sabogal’s paintings as unusually controversial because of their immunity to the European influence that was so prevalent in Peruvian art circles at the time. This is, however, a personal struggle, since the indigenist approach shows definite possibilities. Sabogal’s exhibition in Lima in 1937 is proof of the painter’s wise decision because, by taking his concept to the limits, he is expanding the horizons established by Laso and Merino. Sabogal shows great skill in his depiction of indigenous people and Peruvian themes, thanks to his “quiet manual ability.” In his review of the exhibition, Raygada discusses six paintings of the Loreto and Madre de Dios areas in the Amazon region, noting that this is the first time this part of the country has been portrayed in works of national importance. The critic points out that, although Sabogal has his own very personal style, his work is undeniably reminiscent of Paul Gauguin’s famous Tahitian paintings.
This is the Peruvian art critic Carlos Raygada’s review of the exhibition of works by the painter José Sabogal at the Sociedad Filarmónica (Lima, 1937).
Carlos Raygada was a distinguished figure in the Peruvian art world from the 1930s through the 1950s. He wrote for newspapers such as El Comercio, El Perú, and La Crónica, and edited the art magazines Stylo (1920) and Presente (1930–31). He was also a music critic and was involved in the founding of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música (1946). Raygada’s art reviews showed his clear preference for indigenist works; on the other hand he was unimpressed with movements such as abstraction, which finally achieved a measure of acceptance in Peru in the 1950s.