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In this article, the critic Roberto Guevara reflects on Venezuelan artist Mary Brandt’s work on account of the posthumous exhibition organized by the GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional) in Caracas. For Guevara, painting by this artist “experienced the excessive and tested its strength,” and therefore her paintings and drawings, as well as prints, did not follow a defined plan or a coherent program. Guevara underlines the way chance plays a role (as if it were life itself) in her production; illustrating at the same time how the artist adapted to each expressive medium, intent always on investigating new paths.
This is an article by Venezuelan critic Roberto Guevara (1933-98) on the posthumous exhibition of Mary Brandt (1917-85) at the GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional) in Caracas. The critic provides a global approach to her work with the conviction that it was possible to understand the trajectory of the artist as a whole. The text thereby pointed to the importance of recognizing the exhibition as a way of retrospectively highlighting the work ten years after her passing. Another contribution made by the text was the approximation to Brandt’s personality, associated, according to the critic, to her intuitive and randomly creative persona.
The artist, daughter of Federico Brandt, an important Venezuelan painter and founder of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, was innovative and a pioneer of her time, who evolved at her own pace and in accordance to her artistic needs while maintaining herself away from the trends of the moment. Roberto Guevara emphasized that her artistic development responded to her intense personal pursuits. This position coincided with that of fellow Venezuelan critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931), who issued similar remarks in texts such as “En el taller de Mary Brandt”, in Mary Brandt. Pinturas, dibujos y grabados, 1950–1985 (Caracas: Galería de Arte Nacional, 1995). In it, Calzadilla said that Brandt made no concessions to obtain recognitions or awards, as she expected her work (arising from the artist’s need of self-expression) to speak for itself.