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In this essay, the critic Roberto Guevara reviews the Venezuelan painter Mateo Manaure’s career, referring to his different stages and radical changes. Guevara discusses Manaure’s abstract, surrealist, and informalist works over the course of time, as well as his various returns to geometric abstraction. Speaking specifically about Cuvisiones—the work that Manaure showed at the Sala Mendoza in Caracas—Guevara identifies formal precedents and particular features in terms of his expressive solutions, and explains how they are connected to his earlier work.
In 1969, at the Sala Mendoza in Caracas, the Venezuelan painter Mateo Manaure (b. 1926) presented Cuvisiones, an exhibition based on repeated images of a cube in a variety of colors. He had thus returned to geometric abstraction after having explored figuration, photomontage, and informalism during the course of that decade. This essay by the Venezuelan critic Roberto Guevara (1932–98) begins with a review of Manaure’s varied career. As regards Cuvisiones, Guevara identifies its formal precedents in that career, and its relationship to his work in other disciplines, such as graphic design. In discussing Manaure’s expressive solutions, Guevara refers to similar resources that can be found in contemporary Venezuelan visual art, especially in the case of objectual art and the use of materials chosen for their particular optical effect as dictated by the pictorial surface. Finally, the critic assesses this legitimate return to abstraction, which he considers to be the best of Manaure’s many different styles. It should be noted that the Venezuelan painter did not present any new work until 1977, when he showed Columnas policromadas, also a geometric abstraction painting, at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, which nonetheless did not stop him from returning to figuration in the early 1980s.
Regarding Mateo Manaure’s work, see the article by Víctor Guédez “La creación estético-visual en Mateo Manaure” [doc. no. 1155531]; the articles by Roberto Guevara “Manaure y la inmensa noche” [doc. no. 1156411], and “Manaure: columnas en tierras movedizas” [doc. no. 1155515]; the article by Perán Erminy “Las imágenes poéticas de Manaure” [doc. no. 1156523]; the article by Alfredo Boulton “Mateo Manaure en el Museo de Bellas Artes” [doc. no. 1157497]; the article by Gastón Diehl “Mateo Manaure” [doc. no. 1156491]; the article by Teresa Alvarenga “Mi obra de hoy: Mateo Manaure llega a los 50 años” [doc. no. 1156427]; the article by Pedro Lhaya “Mateo Manaure o la autenticidad pictórica americana” [doc. no. 1156443]; Manaure’s critical article about the history of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Caracas, “La escuela de artes plásticas de frente y de perfil” [doc. no. 813569]; and the journalist Esteban Yepes’ interview “Mateo Manaure dice adiós al arte por el arte” [doc. no. 1155547].