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 his essay, the curator Miguel Arroyo states his opinion about the lethargy that has overcome the sculpture world in Venezuela. He is struck by the movement of young sculptors stepping up to continue the work started by Francisco Narváez, Gego [Gertrude Goldschmidt], and Eduardo Gregorio, whom he deems the only artists capable of maintaining an enthusiasm for sculpture. Arroyo places Harry Abend in that same group of sculptors. Although he believes it is still premature to issue any opinion about the contribution of Abend’s artwork, he thinks highly of the young sculptor and believes that in time, his efforts will crystalize into a great body of work.
In 1962, the Venezuelan sculptor born in Poland, Harry Abend (b. 1937), presented his first sculpture exhibition at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas. It fell to the well-known museum designer and critic Miguel Arroyo (1920–2004) to draft the text for the catalogue. This essay serves as a public introduction, a kind of introduction to society of the work of a new sculptor. Perhaps erring on the side of caution, Arroyo refrains from issuing any assessment of the young sculptor’s work. Without analyzing the artwork, he prefers to wait for the sculptor to develop in order to properly assess his work at a later time. Without stating any strong opinion, he limits himself to deeming the work “good.” This first text written about Abend’s sculpture is noteworthy because it was written by a public figure in contemporary Venezuelan art. It also provides a critical opinion, in particular that of Arroyo, about the Venezuelan sculpture scene in the early 1960s. The critic acknowledges that people have unfortunately lost interest in creating sculpture in Venezuela, and he places his trust in the new generation of talented artists to recover the lost impetus. Arroyo regards this group, with artists of the stature of Víctor Valera, Pedro Barreto, and Pedro Briceño, as the natural heirs of the work begun by masters such as Narváez and Gego.