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    Barreto, Oswaldo
    Régulo Pérez : la ciudad se revierte / Oswaldo Barreto
    Caracas cara a cara. --- Caracas, Venezuela : Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, 1980
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Barreto, Oswaldo. "Régulo Pérez : la ciudad se revierte." In Caracas cara a cara. Exh. cat., Caracas, Venezuela: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, 1980.

The sociologist Oswaldo Barreto discusses Régulo Pérez’s artistic body of work, beginning with a description of the latter’s search for meaning and his felicitous introduction to the city of Caracas. Barreto provides a chronological review that spans three decades (roughly from the 1950s to the 1980s) and focuses on three areas: how Pérez was influenced by his earliest experiences and by his exposure to the natural surroundings in the Venezuelan state of Guayana; his uprooting from his early environment when he took his “painter’s trip to Europe;” and his need to express his view of the world in his own highly personal style. Barreto notes the constant presence of two threads in Pérez’s work, referring to his protest painting and to his penchant for comparing the world of nature to the city.


Oswaldo Barreto wears his sociologist’s hat as he reviews the collection of painting by Régulo Pérez (b. 1929) at the Caracas, cara a cara exhibition at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas in 1980. Barreto uses chronological references as an organizing principle, recalling the Venezuelan artist’s experiences at different stages of his life and suggesting how those events influenced his work.


Though this is familiar ground that has already been explored by other reviewers of Pérez’s work, Barreto presents and scrutinizes it with the authority granted him by his position as a sociologist. In point of fact, his references are more concerned with the troubled man who seeks to express himself through his art than with Régulo Pérez’s actual work as a finished product. Barreto notes the artist’s personal quests, his “long approach,” and his repeated portrayal of the contrast between the city and nature.     


This essay is virtually the only existing sociological review of the works painted by Régulo Pérez. The author looks beyond the simple, circumstantial influences in the artist’s creative process and lists Régulo Pérez’s historical, political, social, economic, and even personal connections to his surroundings, suggesting that all those relationships were what gradually defined the man/artist.


Regarding the artist’s work, see by Rafael Pineda “Régulo y el eje Orinoco – Pintura” [doc. no. 1154220] and “Naturaleza y cultura” (original text taken from the catalogue “Régulo en Acquavella,” Caracas, 1981)” [doc. no. 1154268]; the essay by Bélgica Rodríguez “Régulo: un nuevo lenguaje” [doc. no. 1157776]; the text by Roberto Guevara “Régulo y la cultura visual” [doc. no. 1157759]; the review by Jesús Sanoja Hernández “Prólogo serio para el más serio de nuestros humoristas” [doc. no. 1154188]; by Mingui Betancourt “Pinto vampiros porque no sé pintar flores” [doc. no. 1157808]; the interview “Conversando con Régulo Pérez: entrevistado por Berna Parra, María Eugenia Sánchez y Margarita Villarroel” [doc. no. 1154236]; the partial chronological account by Ivette Villarreal “La salvación por la imagen” [doc. no. 1154300]; the copy of the letter that Pérez wrote to refuse the First Prize for Painting awarded at the Exposición Nacional de Artes Plásticas in 1972, in the article “El pintor Régulo Pérez rechazó premio de la Exposición Nacional de las Artes Plásticas” [doc. no. 1157824]; and his article “Entrevistas imaginarias” [doc. no. 1154284].

Lizette Álvarez Ayesteran
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Oswaldo Barreto, 1980
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.