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In this text, curator Adolfo Wilson explains why the fifth edition of the Bienal de Artes Visuales Christian Dior featured solely painting and not other artistic media. He describes the obstacles he had to overcome to hold a painting salon in 1997, when technologies and other forms of expression had captured the interest of so many artists. It is in that context that the participants in this show explored the different possibilities of the painting medium and reflected on its fate.


This text by art critic and curator Adolfo Wilson describes the context of Venezuelan contemporary art in 1997, the year the fifth edition of the Bienal de Artes Visuales Christian Dior was held. He explains the reason the event featured solely the painting medium—a rarity in an era when “the innovation and expansion of the languages and procedures of contemporary art exerted considerable pressure.” This led to a certain indifference towards painting on the part of new generations of artists who were increasingly interested in photography, video, and installation. For this reason, the twenty-two artists participating in the exhibition explored the various discursive and expressive possibilities of the pictorial medium. Their formulations, techniques, and materials went beyond the conventions of painting, encompassing assemblage and pictorial installation while reflecting on the “current” and the “permanent” in the painting medium.

Mónica Quintini
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of Adolfo Wilson, Caracas, Venezuela
Biblioteca Luis Molina Pantin