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.
In this essay, the artist and critic Juan Calzadilla reviews his own creative process and his work. He explains the connection between drawing and writing in his work, referring to drawing as a form of “visual writing” consisting of “significant images.” He mentions the relationship between drawing and handwriting, and lists the indispensable tools required for drawing: paper, pencil, paintbrush, inks, and dropper. Calzadilla expresses his idea of “drawing” by identifying certain aspects of the term, and explains that his work is closer to what a writer does with his “handwriting method.”
In this essay the Venezuelan artist and critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) reviews his own work in the wake of the exhibition Fragmentos para un magma (Caracas: Galería Leo Blasini, 1998). His long art career and experience as a critic equip him to take a comprehensive and penetrating view of his own drawing in conceptual, creative, formal, and technical terms. He explains how to distinguish drawing as a “simple auxiliary technique” from drawing as an “autonomous expression.”
In view of the fact that drawing has always been seen as an auxiliary technique (that lays the groundwork for other expressions such as painting and sculpture)—and since Calzadilla was the author of some of the most important writings about drawing in Venezuela [see: Calzadilla, “El dibujo hoy,” in Compendio visual de las artes plásticas en Venezuela (1982) [ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 1169585)]—the text is especially important because, in addition to reviewing certain works, it is the essential referent for the perception of drawing as an “autonomous artistic expression,” and for its rehabilitation in opposition to academic tradition that considers it an “auxiliary technique.”