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 1981,] the writer Miguel Otero Silva wrote an introduction to the catalogue for an exhibition of the work of the Venezuelan artist Luis Alfredo López Méndez. This text discusses the artist’s training, the influences that affected him and his art life, over time. It goes on to list painters who were his contemporaries and even provides a description of Caracas in that era. Otero Silva points out López Méndez’s contributions to Venezuelan art, as well as the work he did as an art teacher and in arts management. In addition, the writer gives us a profile of the public figure, his personality and interests, which can be seen reflected in the artist’s work.
This text by the critic and journalist Miguel Otero Silva (1908–85) about 80 years in the life of the Venezuelan painter Luis Alfredo López Méndez (1901–96) focuses on the artist and his times. The perspective is that of a close personal witness to that generation who was obviously also a contemporary of López Méndez. Otero Silva himself was a very active intellectual and arts manager in the Venezuelan world; when it came to debates about art, he was always involved. His role in the controversy about abstract art versus figurative art with Alejandro Otero was significant in the history of art in Venezuela. Given his leftist tendencies, the writer was an unconditional supporter of figurative art and its exponents (López Méndez, among others). As for López Méndez, while he was primarily a landscape painter of the Caracas School, he also held important administrative positions in the culture: director of culture at the Ministry of Education and director of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas. The painter’s broad sphere of public activities ran parallel to Otero Silva’s broad role as a social commentator. Both of them served as jurors for art Salons and on committees to decide on acquisitions and donations for the Museo de Bellas Artes. Both were also involved in other cultural events and in the communications media; Otero Silva ran a newspaper and López Méndez had a regular newspaper column.