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.
The curator Federica Palomero introduces Antes del paisaje, the exhibition of works by Octavio Russo. Palomero reviews the artist’s career, and explains how his gradual evolution eventually led him to produce the works on display at this exhibition. She refers to the goal of the exhibition by pointing out that it is not about portraying the landscape; it is actually inspired by views of a part of the countryside and a geographic area that seemed to exist prior to the landscape. The curator also explains that this Venezuelan artist captures a part of the landscape as a whole, finding it impossible to express it in its entirety.
In this article about Antes del paisaje, the exhibition of works by Octavio Russo (b. 1949), the Venezuelan curator Federica Palomero discusses relevant aspects of this Venezuelan artist’s work, such as geography, nature, animals, plants, and human beings inserted into the landscape created by these elements. Russo’s preparations for this exhibition, during the research he conducted in the port of Parmana, in the state of Guárico, Venezuela, involved drawing, painting, photography, collage, and installations, in an attempt to capture the landscape (or parts of it) as an overwhelming whole that envelops its inhabitants. Palomero approaches this fractional idea by means of a geographical description, paying particular attention to the characteristics of this area of the Venezuelan plains (including the climate and the fauna) in order to anchor Russo’s work firmly in reality, all the while insisting that the essential problem is not one of illustration. Russo was among the group of artists involved in the drawing boom that Venezuela experienced in the 1970s, and his work was of a decidedly expressionist style. His earliest figurative pieces gave way to visual works of art in which all references to reality were steadily eliminated. Palomero’s article therefore focuses on a moment of maturity in his evolution throughout the 1990s until 2003.