Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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  • ICAA Record ID
    1161192
    TITLE
    Introducción
    IN
    Figuración fabulación : 75 años de pintura en América Latina 1914- 1989. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, 1990
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 19- 24
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Guevara, Roberto. "introducción." In Figuración fabulación: 75 años de pintura en América Latina 1914- 1989, 19- 24. Exh. cat., Caracas, Venezuela: Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, 1990.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

The basis of curator Roberto Guevara’s critical discussion of the exhibition Figuración / Fabulación is an analysis of, among other things, the origin of the term “Latin America” and the search for a regional identity. Guevara states that his curatorial focus is not limited to a historicist reading of the creative development in Latin America from 1914 to 1989. It is instead based on the concept of “fabulous figuration” during that period. The show is divided into five thematic clusters: between humor, violence, and politics; landscapes for a New World; natural kingdoms, fabulous kingdoms, and the rebellion of the depths; the scenario of the visible, the scenario of the possible; and the new humanism. 

Annotations

Venezuelan critic and curator Roberto Guevara (1932–98) provides a synthetic overview of the exhibition Figuración / Fabulación, one of the most important shows of Latin American art to be held in Venezuela in the last decade of the twentieth century. The context of the document is important. For the exhibition, Guevara brought together 102 works by the most important twentieth-century Latin American artists found in public and private collections in Venezuela and beyond. The introduction to the exhibition catalogue demonstrates how ambitious the project was. Distancing himself from a predictable historicist reading of the show—a reading that might have been easier to grasp and ultimately, more complacent—Guevara formulates a thematic revision of core problems related to Latin American identity, problems reflected in the art of the period (1914 to 1989). He states, “We will now let several generations of creators tell us with their works how a transparent and perhaps intangible structure has been forged, one that represents a continent destined to make real what constitutes us.” The text—written in 1990, two years before the revision of colonialism in the Americas that would take place in 1992 during the celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus—formulates a (re)consideration of the topic while assuming the necessary distance from black and golden legends. Although primarily focused on figurative art and its universe of fables, Guevara’s proposal addresses the nineties on the basis of a perhaps forced reading of twentieth-century Latin American art. The exhibition catalogue, with this extensive and thorough text, provides a comprehensive overview of that experience and of its results. 

Researcher
Milagros Gonzalez
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Roberto Guevara, 1990
Location
Biblioteca Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Plaza de Los Museos, Parque los Caobos, Caracas 1010, República Bolivariana de Venezuela