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.
In this text, Juan Calzadilla analyzes Ángel Luque’s Informalist work starting with its early stage in Spain. He discusses the artist’s relationship to avant-garde artists and movements on the Iberian Peninsula and to the origins of the Spanish Informalist movement. The author asserts that, once he moved to Venezuela, Luque quickly adapted to the local avant-garde scene. Calzadilla examines a range of concepts manifested in Luque’s creations, specifically the meaning of “matter” in his work. Calzadilla remarks on Luque’s dissident and revolutionary character and how it influenced his art.
Draftsman and critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) is considered the greatest advocate of the Informalist movement in Venezuela in the sixties, which explains his valuable contribution to the catalogue to Pintura, a show of work by Spanish Informalist Ángel Luque (b. 1927), who lived in Venezuela from 1955 to 1967. Pintura, Luque’s first solo show in the country, was held at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1960. This text was both an opportunity for Calzadilla to make Venezuelan viewers aware of Luque’s work, which was largely unknown, and to introduce the wider Informalist movement. Indeed, Calzadilla considered Luque’s work a spearhead of Informalism in Venezuela and Luque—because trained in that movement in Spain—one of its pioneers. Though the Venezuelan Informalist movement was still incipient in 1960, the text’s historical validity is unquestionable. One of the first texts on that movement to be written in Venezuela, Calzadilla’s essay recognizes both the foreign influence on Informalism and its immediate precedents. The text demonstrates Luque’s dissident and non-conformist character. Indifference to acceptance is evident in the work of an avant-garde artist who struggles endlessly against the academic tradition and geometric abstraction. In Calzadilla’s view, Luque is an artist capable of transforming matter and endowing it with new meaning.