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    Manaure y la inmensa noche / Roberto Guevara
    El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela). -- Nov. 7, 1965
    Journal article – Essays
    Guevara, Roberto. "Manaure y la inmensa noche." El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela). November 7, 1965.

The critic Roberto Guevara comments on Mateo Manaure’s pinturas sobremontaje. In the critic’s opinion, this series represents one of the artist’s most noteworthy contributions, after his achievements in the field of geometric abstract art, specifically, the works at Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, executed in the early 1950s. Guevara also discusses the painter’s other periods, including those with less than optimal results and those in which the media used were unsuitable. The critic believes that in pinturas sobremontaje, Manaure manages to reconcile his internal world with an expression of the real world around him. 


In this text, the opinion of the critic Roberto Guevara (1932–1998) may exemplify the relationship between an artist’s intentions and the media in which they may be expressed. In this regard, these comments remind us of the role of art technology and the adaptation of certain art resources to channel a given concept. In Guevara’s opinion, the entire career of the Venezuelan painter Mateo Manaure (b. 1926) represents a good example of this problem. The dilemma is evident in the ups and downs caused by a mismatch between this artist’s great sensitivity and the media he uses to express himself. After significant development in the field of geometric abstract art (during the 1950s), Manaure made forays into figurative art and subsequently experimented with objects and assemblage. In the mid-1960s, Manaure launched the series pinturas sobremontaje in which he developed the content and techniques of Surrealism. These works also called upon graphic design, another discipline in which the artist worked. Guevara considers the approach shown in pinturas sobremontaje to be a wise move, in which the artist’s universe found a medium favorable to his expression. In 1965, the pinturas sobremontaje were presented at the Sala Mendoza in Caracas in an exhibition that brought together painting and photographic techniques through collage. Linked to Manaure’s Surrealist period, these pieces showed the artist’s internal world and his “commitment,” whether to representing the world around him or to expressing the anguish generated by that world. The main purpose of this Guevara text was to analyze the mechanism through which these works effectively link the meanings of both aspects. 


The same writer presents another perspective on the artist’s work in “Manaure: Columnas en tierras movedizas” [ICAA digital archive doc. no. 1155301], which covers the span of Manaure’s life as an artist. Perán Erminy also wrote about “Las imágenes poéticas de Manaure,” which specifically refers to the works called pinturas sobremontaje (doc. no. 1156523).


Regarding Mateo Manaure’s work, see the texts by Víctor Guédez, “La creación estético-visual en Mateo Manaure” (doc. no. 1155531), Roberto Guevaray, “Manaure y las Cuvisiones” (doc. no. 1156459), Alfredo Boulton, “Mateo Manaure en el Museo de Bellas Artes” (doc. no. 1157497), Gastón Diehl, “Mateo Manaure” (doc. no. 1156491), and the articles by Teresa Alvarenga, “Mi obra de hoy: Mateo Manaure llega a los 50 años” (doc. no. 1156427), Pedro Lhaya, “Mateo Manaure o la autenticidad pictórica americana” (doc. no. 1156443), and the text in which Manaure writes a critical account of the history of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Caracas, “La Escuela de artes plásticas de frente y de perfil” (doc. no. 813569).

Rigel García
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Roberto Guevara, 1965