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.
This text written by the art critic Roberto Guevara is the preface to the catalogue for the exhibition Pinturas, which exhibited work by the French artist Marcel Floris, who had been living in Caracas since 1950. The exhibition was held at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1967. In this preface, Guevara sets forth some guidelines about how a critic should relate to the work of an artist. In his opinion, before developing assessments and judgments, the critic’s job is to “get closer” to the specific world of each creator. The purpose of this exercise is for the critic to participate in the artist’s experience to the extent possible and then attempt, in his write-up of the experience, “to wake up that artist inside the reader.” Focusing on the paintings of Marcel Floris, the critic concludes that this artist has found a highly personal way of conducting extended investigations of the trends for abstract and Kinetic art that attract him. Guevara points out that, as opposed to other artists who look for “brilliant” effects and accentuated contrasts, Floris’s work is restrained and almost austere.
Roberto Guevara (1932–1998) wrote this preface to the exhibition catalogue by the French artist based in Venezuela since the 1950s, Marcel Floris (1914–2007), which was held at the Museo de Bellas Artes in 1967. The critic and curator demonstrates his ability to capture the entire range of an artist’s personal poetics in a short essay. In this case, the subject was Floris’s painting, which fell within the Venezuelan trends for abstract and Kinetic art. Like the writer, Floris spent some time working in Venezuela’s advertising world, and while he was there, struck up a friendship with Guevara, who wrote a number of texts on the painter. As one of the pioneers of sculptural installations in Venezuela, Floris created work that could be transformed, changeable structures that broke with the traditional concept of that genre. Between 1960 and 1970, he also worked as a graphic designer as well as a docent at the Instituto Neumann (in Caracas), where he established ties with other designers, including Gerd Leufert and Nedo M. F., also of European origin. Like Floris, the other two artists created significant artwork while they were in Venezuela. Floris shared an interest with them in investigating color, planes and line in the dynamics of space, as well as the idea of reversibility of form. The exhibition Pinturas de Marcel Floris, held in 1967, is the subject of this text. This was a major event in this artist’s life, and the following year (1968), he was awarded the National Painting Prize at the Twenty-Nineth Salón Oficial de Arte Venezolano; subsequently, in 1969, he received the National Prize for Sculpture. Then, in 1971, he was honored by an international distinction: the Gold Medal at the Eleventh International Biennial of São Paulo, where another prizewinner was the Colombian Omar Rayo.