Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail

The writer describes and analyzes the work of the Venezuelan visual artist shown in the exhibition that bears his name, Juan Iribarren (Sala Mendoza, Caracas, 1994). Based on his study of these paintings, Luis Enrique Pérez-Oramas formulates what he calls “a chromatic display of sight”; that is, Iribarren’s painting reveals what the artist has seen, expressed in gestures of color. In the critic’s opinion, most of the artist’s work makes it clear that he never tires of seeing “what he has already seen.” Therefore, the true beauty of the work is based on the awareness of sight´s movement process. The writer adds that Iribarren’s painting reveals a kind of “interstitial” intelligence that avoids wandering attention, gratuitous artifice, and academic repetition.


This essay by the Venezuelan critic Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas (b. 1960) was written in connection with an exhibition of oil paintings by Juan Iribarren (b. 1956) at the Sala Mendoza in Caracas in 1994. In this show, the Venezuelan painter exhibited around twenty oil paintings. Based on his extensive knowledge of Iribarren’s work, the critic informs us of the transformations through which it has gone. Providing a specific, in-depth analysis of some of the most representative works in the exhibition, the writer is able to present interpretations and concepts that would underlie his own subsequent critical reviews of Iribarren’s paintings.


Pérez-Oramas wrote another text on this artist’s painting, which he finds exceptional, in “Juan Iribarren, el grano rauco y el silencio” (doc. no. 1160298).

Josefina Manrique
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of the private archives of Luis Pérez-Oramas, Caracas, Venezuela
Biblioteca Juan Carlos Palenzuela, Caracas