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 by Juan Calzadilla quotes ideas stated by the Venezuelan painter José Antonio Quintero about his own work. In his comments, the artist highlights the fact that his landscapes (whether realistic or imaginary scenes) are personal stories of the manifestations of nature and the elements that make it up. Going back as far as 1975, Calzadilla analyzes the role Quintero has played in reviving the landscape genre in Venezuela, during a time when the painter was moving from a cerebral stage to a much freer sensory framework for his explorations. In the critic’s opinion, the breadth that has developed in the artist’s landscape painting has turned Quintero into a significant contributor to this pictorial theme in Venezuelan art.
In the early 1980s, the Galería de Arte Nacional (GAN) in Caracas, along with the Consejo Nacional de Cultura de Bogotá (Colombia), organized the exhibition El paisaje libérrimo —1981. For the catalogue, the poet and critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) wrote on the work of one of the participants: José Antonio Quintero (b. 1946). Referring back to an earlier exhibition of work by Quintero, El pozo de cristal (1975), Calzadilla analyzes the work, recognizing aspects that have made the artist so important within the national iconography of landscape painting. The inclusion of urban elements marks his paintings, while the overall concept of a chromatic structure creates a contrast with the impression of specific detail more typical of the Caracas School. Moreover, the symbolic significance that emanates from these landscapes is one more aspect of an approach based on traditional landscape painting, but more dynamic. The critic emphasizes that these elements are complemented by the artist’s greater focus on the painting process itself, moving beyond the idea of a preconceived product to have a direct experience with the nature before him, recording his own sensory experience with nature. Undoubtedly, this stance, which typifies what is known as “neopaisajismo” in Venezuela, is the subject of Quintero’s explorations. Thus, his work is characterized by a spontaneity that is simply the expression of the poetic mystery of the physical world.
Other participants in the show were the Venezuelan painter Carlos Hernández Guerra and the Colombian artists Ana Mercedes Hoyos and Galaor Carbonel (who was born in Cuba).