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    Arte por tierra / María Luz Cárdenas
    Una visión de Gala. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Sofía Imber, 1992.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Cárdenas, María Luz. "Arte por tierra." In Una visión de Gala. Caracas, Venezuela: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, 1992.
    Benaím, Ricardo, 1949-

In this text, María Luz Cárdenas discusses Ricardo Benaim’s artistic development and the premise presented in Una visión de Gaia, a solo exhibition of his paintings and prints. Cárdenas describes Benaim’s work as an example of critical consciousness that on the basis of art, addresses social issues, such as the environment. The author also analyzes the strategies that the artist uses to formulate his thoughtful message. Whether expressive, thematic, or technical in nature, those strategies go beyond the categories and classifications operative in the visual arts. In closing, the text analyzes some of the works featured in a show where the explicit re-appropriation and metaphorical use of materials leads to a rich accumulation of meanings.


In 1992, the solo exhibition Una visión de Gaia, featuring works by Venezuelan painter and printmaker Ricardo Benaim (b. 1949), produced from 1990 to 1992, was held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Ímber in Caracas. The show consisted of works in an array of techniques and materials, as well as multiples in book form entitled Tierra [Earth]. In her text, curator and critic María Luz Cárdenas (b. 1952) discusses the statement and criticism that that work makes; in addition to the environmentalist protest it formulates, the work goes beyond artistic categories and challenges scenarios for the relationship between art and life. Cárdenas then sheds light on a wider use of art as a discursive tool in a dynamic where notions of creation, technique, and genre are expanded as well. To some extent, the communicational power of Benaim’s work, as well as its effectiveness as protest, is based on the (organic) materials it employs and on the textual quality of his visual postulates. Due to its layers of meaning and enmeshed creative mechanisms, Benaim’s artistic premise forms part of a conceptual universe conducive to the interaction between art and life. Cárdenas’s text also provides valuable information on the artist’s efforts to raise awareness of the environment by means of collective projects, educational programs, and touring group shows—all of which constitute the precedent and basis of the work analyzed here.

Rigel Garcia
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
María Luz Cárdenas, 1992
Biblioteca Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas