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    La conquista de una síntesis multideterminada
    Armando Barrios : lo Permante, lo novedoso y lo influyente. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993
    p. 87-89
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Guésez, Victor. "La conquista de una síntesis multideterminada." In Armando Barrios: lo Permante, lo novedoso y lo influyente, 87-89. Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993.

Of the three chapters in the book by researcher Víctor Guédez on the Venezuelan artist Armando Barrios. Lo permanente, lo novedoso y lo influyente, chapter three, “Lo influyente,” is discussed here. Under subtitle five (“La conquista de una síntesis multideterminada”), Guédez sums up the creative evolution of Barrios. He begins with his developmental period, where his compositional works stood out and consolidated in his later phase of assimilation (1938-44). He was then influenced by the Cubist and geometric abstraction movements between 1945 and 1955. Between 1956 and 1975, Guédez identifies a symbiosis between the geometric and the figurative languages. Finally, in 1975, he observes a synthesis and integration of the now mastered visual arts discourse, a moment he assesses to be at full maturity.


The text of the researcher and art critic Víctor Guédez (b. 1945) can be considered as the most important and extensive essay written on the Venezuelan painter Armando Barrios (1920-99) until today. Published under the auspices of the GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional), the book was conceived against the backdrop of his dialogues with the artist and his wife, Reina Rivas, based on their friendship and personal interest. Here, Guédez occupies himself in trying to establish a concise periodization that, although not well supported, allows us to get a glimpse of Barrios’s pictorial evolution. This scheme was strategically elaborated in support of the thesis that Barrios’s work maintained unity and thematic coherence during his career, with respect to his semantic content and their syntactic references. To Guédez, this allowed the artist to construct a formal creative synthesis, especially manifested during the period between 1956 and 1975. From the essayist’s standpoint, Barrios’s constant concerns were palpable when he reviewed in a retrospective manner the references and the reasons that would accompany him as the platform of his most structured aesthetic concerns.


[As supplementary reading on Barrios’s work, see in the ICAA digital archive the essays by historian Rafael Páez “La nueva figuración” (doc. no. 1157952) and “Tradición sin servilismo” (doc. no. 1157968); another essay by Guédez from the book Armando Barrios. Lo permanente, lo novedoso y lo influyente, “La pintura y la música” (doc. no. 1158033); and Roberto Guevara in “Armando Barrios. Constantes para no seguir adelante” (doc. no. 1158049). Additionally, consult the biographical text by Juan Röhl, “Introducción” to the Barrios retrospective (doc. no. 1163701)].

Felix Hernandez
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of Victor Guedéz, Caracas, Venezuela
Biblioteca Félix Hernández