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.
In this interview with Venezuelan artist Luis Chacón, journalist José Antonio Rial offers an overview of his education, influences, preference in techniques, research, and proposals for engraving. He describes in detail his transition from the use of acids and chemicals to burin engraving, including what he calls “graphic metal,” a process of German artist Rudolf Nesch, which was modified by Chacón. Rial also describes some phases and series of his recent work, offering a perspective informed by the existential relationship that the artist had with engraving.
In this article, José Antonio Rial (1911?2009), the Spanish journalist based in Venezuela, lingers on technical details of great value, emphasizing the graphic work of Luis Chacón (1927?2009), who achieved technical mastery of burin engraving. Rial describes how the artist came to question his use of chemical-based techniques and how he decided to work using a more traditional technique. The document likewise allows one to read between the lines and perceive Chacón’s need to move past this stage, after having mastered the chisel. This information is of special interest in that it allows for the placement of a later document (anonymous, “Luis Chacón: We Can No Longer Create Engravings Using the Standard from 500 Years Ago,” in El Nacional, Caracas, June 29, 1967; n.p.), wherein the artist recognizes the need to abandon the serialization of engravings. Chacón had a special connection to metal, which can be seen in his use of plates (which he molded with a chisel), but also during his transition from two dimensional to three dimensional work, starting in the 1970s (with pieces which were called “structures” instead of sculptures, that were part of his series “satellites”). Although the first printing of this article omitted a few lines, the overall meaning was maintained and the contributions made by the document attest to its value.
For a complementary reading, see in the ICAA digital archive by Cuban critic José Gómez Sicre “The Planets: Series of engravings,” (doc. no. 1134580); by author unknown “Chacón: hoy abren exposición” (doc. no. 1151334); and by Chacón himself “El grabado en Venezuela” (doc. no. 1143092).