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


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    El tema de la figura humana en la obra de Héctor Poleo / Alfredo Boulton
    Héctor Poleo. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1992
    p. 50-54 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Boulton, Alfredo. "El tema de la figura humana en la obra de Héctor Poleo." In Héctor Poleo, 50-54. Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1992.

This essay was written by Alfredo Boulton (1908–95), the Venezuelan historian and art critic. It appeared in the catalogue for the exhibition of works by the painter Héctor Poleo at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas (1974). In his essay, Boulton discusses the spiritual approach that Poleo has taken to the human figure throughout his career. Boulton explains that Poleo’s approach is a tapestry of symbolic, poetic, magical, oneiric, psychological, and ethical threads that expresses his personal appreciation for the human form and condition.


“El tema de la figura humana en la obra de Héctor Poleo” is the title of the introductory essay written by the Venezuelan historian and art critic Alfredo Boulton (1908–95) and published in the catalogue for the retrospective exhibition of works by Héctor Poleo (1918–89) at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas (1974). It is a document of great importance in terms of an understanding of Poleo’s painting up to that point, and in terms of his later works. Boulton discusses Poleo’s anthropological approach to his work, suggesting that the artist’s tendency to question reality—which can be seen in his painting and with which he addresses humanity’s existential drama—is one of his overwhelming attributes.


This is the largest and most complete collection of Héctor Poleo’s work that has ever been organized in Venezuela. The exhibition includes over four hundred paintings and drawings, jewels, and sketches for stained glass windows and tapestries; the catalogue is very generously illustrated. Supported by a similar catalogue, the exhibition was later shown at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City and at the Center for Inter-American Relations in New York. It should be noted that the essayist was a very good friend of the artist’s and was genuinely interested in Poleo’s work. The catalogue also includes an essay by the writer and journalist Miguel Otero Silva.            


For other material about Poleo, see the reviews by Alberto Junyent “Aromas de la gracia” [doc. no. 1153851] and “Obras recientes de Héctor Poleo” [doc. no. 1153835]; the article by Juan Liscano “Pedro León Castro y Héctor Poleo” [doc. no. 850175]; the article by Simón Noriega “Fuentes concretas del surrealismo de Poleo” [doc. no. 1153819]; the article by Bélgica Rodríguez “Héctor Poleo, inventor y fabulador de formas” [doc. no. 1153899]; the essay by Denys Chevalier “Poleo: la opción simbolista” [doc. no. 1162167]; and Boulton’s other article, “Introducción” [doc. no. 1153883].

Félix Hernández
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of Alberto Vollmer Foundation, Caracas, Venezuela.
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.