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.
Critic Roberto Montero Castro examines the roots of the modernist aesthetic, its evolution, and its characteristics up to the 1970s, which was marked by a rupture with the formalists and rationalists that preceded it. This gave birth to a new (Postmodern) sensibility with an emphasis on expression and man’s connection to the universe; this is where the critic turns to the work of Miguel von Dangel, the Venezuelan artist of German origin. Once Montero Castro analyzes the evolution of his artistic discourse, he states that he created a universe that moved beyond the systems of representation (fiction or illusion), which in his opinion, is the core issue of twentieth century art. The artist incorporates nature into his work and with it, all its referential value; in other words, it transforms and is transformed by the rest of the elements that it relates to. This transformation of objects and their transfiguration are connected to nature, and serve as the foundation for his world view as an Americanist.
Venezuelan art critic Roberto Montero Castro wrote this essay for Miguel von Dangel’s
(b. 1946) Transfiguraciones [Transfigurations] exhibition, which was held at the Galería Sotavento (Caracas) in 1986. At that moment, the artist’s work had already matured, and was the fruit of a career that spanned more than twenty years; the critic provides an outline of his career and specifies the chief aesthetic and thematic axes that determined the course and evolution of von Dangel’s artistic language. Montero Castro analyzes the manner in which the artist articulates work with a “baroque” aesthetic that has models in reality and nature, without those symbols losing an iota of metaphorical ambiguity. The critic also explains how the incorporation of natural models in his work transform, giving rise to his complex worldview. In the critic’s opinion, von Dangel responds to essential debates in twentieth century art. Montero Castro offers examples of these ideas through his analysis of groups of work that make up the exhibition Transfiguraciones.
In general, the criticism of von Dangel’s work is reserved and limited to that same work; nevertheless in this text, Montero Castro incorporates [those works] into the chief themes, trends, and debates that have occurred in the history of contemporary art, and his specific focus is the artist’s contributions to these issues. He concludes that his work is “una de las construcciones más poderosas del arte contemporáneo, no sólo en Venezuela, sino en el circuito internacional [one of the most powerful creations in contemporary art, not only in Venezuela, but also on the international circuit (…)]
[For other critical texts on the work of Miguel von Dangel, see the ICAA digital archive: the essays by María Luz Cárdenas, “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (I) y (II) [The Battle of San Romano by von Dangel (I) and (II)], both published in 1990 (doc. no. 1154028) and (doc. no. 1154092), respectively; the preface by Julio Ortega, “La iridiscencia del ojo de la materia o como leer un objeto artístico procesal” [The Iridescence of the Material’s Eye or How To Read an Artistic Process Object], published in 1997 (doc. no. 1155251); and the interview by Axel Stein, “Interview with Miguel von Dangel,” published in 1998 (doc. no. 1102348). Also see the text by Yasmin Monsalve, “Mi obra ha tenido que luchar contra muchos prejuicios: Un premio nacional visto con la luz de Petare” [My Work Has Had To Fight Against Many Prejudices: A National Award Winner Seen Through the Light of Petare] (doc. no. 1102125); texts by Elsa Flores, “Miguel von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (I)” [Miguel von Dangel: The Latin American Response (I)] (doc. no. 1155150), “Miguel von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (III)” [Miguel von Dangel: The Latin American Response (III) (doc. no. 1154906), and “Miguel von Dangel” (doc. no. 1056044); and the essay by Ruth Auerbach, “Hoy, el paisaje es aquí y ahora” [Today, Landscape Is Here and Now] published in 1996 (doc. no. 855314).