The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This essay on Armando Reverón by the Venezuelan painter Pascual Navarro states that the majority of writings about him have stressed his “eccentric habits” and his “Robinsonian lifestyle” in detriment to the overall analysis of his work and his contributions to the history of art. Following that assertion, Navarro examines four works belonging to different periods: “Alicia” (1933), “El puerto” (c. 1942), “Cocoteros” (c. 1941), and “Entrada al muelle” (c. 1941), delving into the stylistics of the “Reveronian-technique,” analyzing its peculiarities and the originality of his work. Navarro compares them with creations by other artists such as Rembrandt, Goya, Velázquez, Rubens, and even the Impressionist masters. Navarro concludes that Reverón is an Impressionist because of his environments, pictorial language, and luminosity. However, the arrangement, planning, selection, and composition of these elements, places him in closer proximity to the pictorial concepts of the classical baroque.
The artist Pascual Navarro (1923–85), according to Alfredo Boulton, was the one who best understood the full and the early Reveronian genius. In 1945, Navarro lived with him in “El Castillete de Macuto” (Central Coast of Venezuela), before traveling to Europe in 1948 and establishing, two years later, with Alejandro Otero and other artists, the group “Los Disidentes” (Paris, 1950). The essay on Armando Reverón (1889–1954) was written in 1947 and constitutes—together with the one written by Mariano Picón Salas in 1938 [see ICAA digital file (doc. no. 808902)]—one of the most critically valued and fundamental texts of Reveronian literature produced during the artist’s lifetime. Navarro’s essay involves a specialized study; it analyzes in detail and with an emphasis the visuality and the techniques of the Reveronian style. It’s a text of special interest to artists and painting experts as a lesson and analysis in the visual arts and its unprecedented contribution to the study of this work in relation to the great masters of the art world.
The four works analyzed by Navarro—“Alicia” (1933), “El puerto” (c. 1942), “Cocoteros” (c. 1941), and “Entrada al muelle” (c. 1941)—had been sent by Reverón to the VII Salón Oficial Anual de Arte Venezolano (1947). The analysis dealt with, among other important aspects of Reverón’s work, problems such as the distribution of light and shade, the landscape in open form, the decorative and the little importance given to the subject, treatment of volume, depth, setting, and the monumental character of these areas. Navarro highlights the essential pictorial interest of the great master of Macuto.
Of importance was a fact that was little observed by the Venezuelan critics. Although Navarro fails to systematize the Reveronian work to precise time periods, he still affirms that the analyzed works belonged to different periods, making explicit reference to the “white period.” The English curator John Elderfield (Reverón’s most recent scholar), in his essay for the catalogue on the exhibition Armando Reverón (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2007), points to those “works that are described as the white paintings according to the tripartite chronology on Reverón’s work in periods such as the blue, white, and sepia, proposed by the painter Pascual Navarro in 1947 (...).”