Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Obra Reciente : Oscar Machado / Ruth Auerbach
    CCS- 10 : guía de estudio : arte venezolano actual. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993
    p. 39
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Auerbach, Ruth. "Obra Reciente: Oscar Machado." In CCS- 10: guía de estudio: arte venezolano actual, 39. Exh. cat., Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993.

In the text, “Obra reciente: Oscar Machado,” published in the catalogue for the 1990 exhibition Obra reciente (Caracas: Sala de exposiciones RG, in the Casa de Rómulo Gallegos), the curator Ruth Auerbach deems the work of the sculptor Oscar Machado hard to interpret. In her opinion, this is because of the unpredictability that serves the sculptor as a way of entering into the creative process of sculpture without adhering to models or following established styles. Machado’s starting point is certain "aesthetic moments . . . that are defined by memory and resolved in forms that appear to be arbitrary, eclectic and anachronistic." As Auerbach sees it, the sculptor’s forms, materials, and colors are united in a metamorphosis. Starting from their traditional roles as "classical instruments for three-dimensional composition," these elements are transformed into "categories that transmit ideas." To the curator, Machado’s work not only represents sculpture in Venezuela in its own time, but will continue to do so in the near future. 


In the critical text “Obra reciente: Oscar Machado,” the curator Ruth Auerbach is emphatic in declaring the importance of Oscar Machado’s sculptural work. In her opinion, this is sculpture that is ready to assume the risks presented by the future. This document highlights the original nature of the sculptor—including a kind of Conceptual art perspective—as he works with traditional sculptural materials. Introducing these to a new generation of artists, Machado retains the sculptural language he has always used while taking advantage of the spatial resources of installation art. Auerbach points out that Machado’s work is in a continual process of change; in this work, "there is a steady stream of ideas." To the curator, Machado “enriches” the sculpture made in Venezuela; in particular, she considers it innovative. She believes this is clear to the objective observer, both in the way form dominates and in the presence of objects from an imagined “archaeology of the future.” All these elements place the work at a considerable distance “from the traditional treatment of sculpture.” To the writer, Machado represents a new way of coming to terms with sculpture in Venezuela. Most importantly, the work created by Machado has been in “consonance with the energy that has surged into art in the past decade.” This text was also published in the daily newspaper El Universal on September 21, 1990, under the title: “Oscar Machado: la nueva escultura en Venezuela." The text was then published once more, just as it appears in the original Sala RG exhibition catalogue, in the catalogue/guide CCS-10, Arte venezolano actual (Caracas: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993, p. 39).

María Elena Huizi
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Ruth Auerbach, 1993
Biblioteca Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Plaza de Los Museos, Parque los Caobos, Caracas 1010, República Bolivariana de Venezuela