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 artist Alberto Brandt describes the artistic aims of his exhibition Alberto Brandt. Exposición de pinturas held at the Centro Profesional del Este in Caracas in 1957. As opposed to the “pseudo-classicism,” rationality, and formalism of geometric abstraction which, in Brandt’s view, offer a fragmented vision of man, he aims at “greater communicability” between the artist and the viewer by incorporating the irrational into his painting. To that end, Brandt makes use of the “automatism” technique, which does away with mediating elements to construct “pure painting,” which Brandt deems impossible to translate into any other language. He concludes that “automatic creation” must be produced from a place of risk beyond the hackneyed formulas of, for instance, geometric abstraction.
This text is, at core, a statement of principles and the definition of the line of work—and, indeed, of conduct—that visual artist Alberto Brandt (1924–70) would pursue throughout his career regardless of the specific techniques he used, tendencies he followed, or groups he subscribed to at different moments. Brandt’s painting, which he describes as “irreducible to another language,” ranged from abstraction to Informalism (in fact, he was a pioneer of that movement in Venezuela); he made use of the mechanisms of gestural and surrealist painting. Whatever tendency he pursued, he was always at the forefront of the avant-garde, embracing all the risks that that entailed. This text, then, is a statement that foretells the path he would pursue, without deviation, in his search for total expressive freedom and in his unrestrained struggle against any form of convention or tradition.