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In this text, Juan Calzadilla analyzes Luisa Richter’s work in drawing while also providing an overview of the drawing genre in the post-World War II era—a time when there was widespread interest in the graphic arts in general. Calzadilla considers drawing subjective in nature; he asserts that drawing found a place in art due to irrationalist tendencies. Calzadilla places Richter’s figurative drawings in the context of her production as a whole. After a period of study in Germany, her work went through an Informalist stage before this return to figuration.
Critic and draftsman Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931), the author of this essay on German-born Venezuelan artist Luisa Richter (1928?2015), was the main advocate of the Informalist movement in Venezuela. While Richter’s third solo show in Caracas, the event described in this text (her stay in Germany) was her first solo show after having abandoned the Informalism that characterized her early work. This show marked the beginning of a period in which the artist returned to figuration in production that revolved around drawing and printmaking. Calzadilla points out that the early drawings produced during her Informalist phase were by no means figurative and the works in this show act as a bridge between Informalism and figuration. The essay upholds the drawing medium as a form of visual expression in its own right rather than as “accident” or “preliminary exercise” for a final work. Albeit with a number of changes in form and content, this text was the basis for the essay by Calzadilla published in “El ojo que pasa” (Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores, 1969), his anthological work on Richter.
[For further reading, see in the ICAA digital archive Calzadilla’s “Luisa Richter ” (doc. no. 1160968); and by Cuban-born North American critic Ricardo Pau-Llosa, “Luisa Richter: Trascendiendo lo abstracto” (doc. no. 1161822)].