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    Harry Abend : La escultura como medio
    Caracas, Venezuela : Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, 2003
    Book/Pamphlet – Essays
    17 de noviembre 2002 al 23 de febrero de 2003. Exposición Nº2/02
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In his essay on the work of sculptor Harry Abend, architect Freddy Carreño explores the notions of “modernism,” “Postmodernism,” and “contemporary” in order to contextualize Abend’s work. After providing an overview of Abend’s sculpture, the author dedicates separate sections to three facets of his production: drawings, reliefs, and three-dimensional works. Carreño also describes the Venezuelan artist’s creative vision throughout his career, from his Constructivist and Informalist phases to his more recent Minimalist work.


As the curator of the anthological exhibition Harry Abend:1970–2002, architect and professor Freddy Carreño provides one of the most detailed studies ever written on the work of the Polish-born Venezuelan sculptor Harry Abend (b. 1937). For a deep understanding of Abend’s art, Carreño first outlines the idea of “modernism” in art. After describing the impact that the transition from “modernism” to “Postmodernism” and the contemporary had on artists, Carreño analyzes Abend’s work. He argues that—in terms of perception—Abend was able to move beyond that transition as he went from being a “modern” to a “contemporary” artist. Carreño bases his understanding of the interrelationship between modern and contemporary art on philosophy, ideology, and aesthetics, specifically on authors such as Octavio Paz, Stephen Spender, and mainly, Matei Calinescu. In Carreño’s view, Abend’s training as an architect is fundamental. He argues that it is evident in the contrast between rationality and emotion—a binary [perspective] that, in his view, forms the structure of Abend’s work. While Carreño does not analyze the individual works in each of the areas of Abend’s production, he does discuss each area in depth, focusing on the aesthetic influences on the artist’s thinking. Though Carreño claims to study Abend’s work as a whole, he does not discuss his use of precious metals. Notwithstanding this, it is one of the few texts that explores each individual aspect of Abend’s creativity.

Juan Carlos Azpurua
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Freddy Carreño, 2002