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The critic Carlos Maldonado Bourgoin discusses the painter and sculptor Omar Carreño’s latest work, in which he returns to his exploration of geometrical abstraction. Maldonado Bourgoin mentions the Venezuelan artist’s passion for research, which is the basis for his consistent interest in Abstract art. After referring to Carreño’s Figurative period in the 1980s, Maldonado Bourgoin inquires about his return to earlier projects he has not yet explored in great depth. The critic discusses Carreño’s latest work, associating it with global existential concerns and, finally, points out the symbolic traits expressed in its elementary forms.
Vuelta sobre los pasos, the one-man exhibition of works by the Venezuelan painter and sculptor Omar Carreño (1927?2013), was presented at the Galería Durban in Caracas in 1994. Carreño had by then returned to geometric abstraction after a brief involvement with Figuration, starting in 1985, in a series of seascapes and paintings of sailboats. The critic Carlos Maldonado Bourgoin mentions the brevity of this Figurative period (for an artist so broadly and solidly committed to geometric abstraction), claiming that Vuelta sobre los pasos is not a “return” to Abstraction because Carreño had never abandoned it. The critic discusses the artist’s concept of “research” which—in addition to having prompted his extensive exploration of Abstract art and transformable works of art—is the artist’s main reason for returning to unfinished projects. Carreño admits that his creative “acceleration” has caused him to abandon projects before he has fully explored them; this article therefore helps to understand his creative process and the motivation behind this specific exhibition which addresses certain ideas that have lingered incomplete since the 1950s. Maldonado Bourgoin also includes a rather symbolic reading that sees atavistic qualities in this attempt to return to past ideas, which is an unusual approach in the field of Abstraction. Carreño’s questioning of Abstract trends in the 1980s has been replaced by a deeper concern for the artist’s responsibilities: the failure of major projects and discourses appears to have been assimilated and, returning to his usual approach, Carreño seems to assume that a critical attitude to society’s problems is also legitimate in the event that it arises from its own aesthetic persona.