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 published in a catalogue of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, the painter Oswaldo Vigas relates the development of his interest in tapestry and his beginnings in this technique starting in 1971 under the patronage of Ana Teresa Dagnino. The artist states that his exploration in this textile genre is not taking him away from his vocation as an artist and notes the differences between a painter and a person who works in textiles. Moreover, Vigas explains the dynamics involved in the creation and supervision that must be done by the artist at the point of handing the work over to the master weavers. The pre-Hispanic tradition is one influence on Vigas, who tells the story of modern artists’ recovery of European textile work.
In 1981, the Venezuelan painter Oswaldo Vigas (b. 1926) exhibited his tapestry work at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas. It consisted of a set of 20 tapestries rendered between 1971 and 1978 in various textile mills around the world (including France, Portugal, Spain and Mexico). The catalogue published for the exhibition, which includes this interview, gives details about the reasons that led Vigas to start working in tapestry. He explained this apart from his conviction that he would keep painting at the center of his creative world. The (anonymous) interview provides important data on Vigas’s experience with the different mills involved in rendering his works as well as the technical requirements and other aspects specific to executing a tapestry. First, there was the need for a patron; then, there was a manufacturing process to be performed by a master weaver under the artist’s supervision. In this regard, the interview raises the question of authorship (including the categories for designating the people who participate in the process). In fact, this is an interesting starting point for a discussion of the ideas of both “artist” and “artisan” in contemporary art. It would also be an issue to include in any study that brings together art and the ancient manufacturing traditions since the appearance of modernity. The interview does address the difference between the painters who design cartoons and textile makers, discussing how one or the other places greater emphasis on the expressive resources of the line, color or material, as the case may be. Vigas considers his involvement in the genre as a “broadening” of his painting plans, reaffirmed (never displaced) in this art genre’s expressive possibilities and strengthened by the opportunity to reach a broader viewing public.[Regarding the work of Oswaldo Vigas, see the following texts in the ICAA digital archive: by Juan Liscano “La reiteración de Vigas” (doc. No. 1152769); two by Roberto Montero Castro, “Vigas en el ojo ajeno - Plástica e identidad latinoamericana” (doc. No. 1153266) and “Oswaldo Vigas : La lucha por descubrir la identidad americana” (doc. No. 1168108); a text by Joaquin Gabaldón “La monstruosidad en el arte” (doc. No. 850831); an article by Lenelina Delgado “De la pintura al tapiz” (doc. No. 1153365); and one by A. Feltra “Vigas sufre de afán publicitario” (doc. No. 1155580). In addition, there is Carlos Silva’s essay “Vigas o la lucidez” (doc. No. 1153397); and two interviews, Paco Benmaman’s “Oswaldo Vigas explosivo: Antes las brujas, ahora las bombas” (doc. No. 1153245) and one by M.C. (probably Montero Castro), “Detesto la palabra búsqueda: Oswaldo Vigas” (doc. no. 1152801).]