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 text, Juan Calzadilla describes the development of Marietta Berman’s production, her relationship with the Venezuelan art scene, her independence from trends that could have led her visual research astray, and her ability to work at the margin of the fluctuating art market. Calzadilla asserts that Berman “has also done what she wanted at her own steady pace without jumping ahead of herself.” Calzadilla addresses her approach to different materials, her preferred techniques, and the results of her various artistic investigations.
This text by critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) provides a very personal vision of the production of Czechoslovakian-born Venezuelan artist Marietta Berman (1917–90). Calzadilla offers an overview of her work on the basis of the evolution of her use of materials, an evolution that—in Calzadilla’s view—reflected very intimate concerns. In her use of supports, materials, space, and visual elements, Berman formulates a dialogue as perfectly balanced as nature or the cosmos. Throughout her career, Berman explored the representation of space (religious, cosmic, ritual, even magic and unreal space), intuitively—but not randomly—rendering her reflections on the support. Calzadilla points out the social and moral condemnation implicit in Berman’s refusal to subscribe to the division between abstraction and figuration prevalent in debates of her time.