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 anonymous text provides a detailed review of the rooms and halls of the Museo de Bellas Artes (Caracas) containing the works of the XVIII Salón Oficial de Arte Venezolano (1957). The works, according to the author, were grouped in the space by trend and position, or by the place that each occupied in the history of Venezuelan art at that moment. The text describes in detail the art of many participants in the show such as Víctor Valera, César Rengifo, Pedro León Castro, Luis Guevara Moreno, Jacobo Borges, and Alejandro Otero, among others, all grouped together within the following categories: painting, drawing, sculpture, applied arts, and posters.
The value of this text is based on its observation of the coexistence of figurative and abstract art, as well as the principal artists of the XVIII Salón Oficial de Arte Venezolano in 1957. Another notable aspect is the reference to the birth of Kinetic art in Venezuela, which would become very much in vogue during the 1960s and 1970s. An interesting anecdote, which is related to the present document, is that during this salon a criticism made by Alejandro Otero regarding the chosen jury would set off one of the most interesting debates in the history of Venezuelan art. It occurred between the artist (who defended abstract art) and his relative, the writer and editor Miguel Otero Silva (who supported naturalism and figurative art). The salon of 1957 also represented a key moment in the career of painter Jacobo Borges, who received recognition for his painting La pesca, a work that was the basis for a traveling exhibition, De la pesca al espejo de aguas, 1956–1986, organized in Mexico by the Museo de Monterrey and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City. Other countries that had the opportunity to host the exhibition included: Germany, at the Staatliche Kunsthalle [Statehouse of Art, in Berlin]; Colombia, at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá; and Venezuela, at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas.