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.
The critic Juan Calzadilla wrote one of the introductory essays for the exhibition Armando Barrios: Retrospectiva (Caracas: Galería de Arte Nacional, 1977). He discusses the painter’s evolution and the artistic language he consistently uses to express a symbolic sense of musical syntax. He says that Barrios’s formal pictorial elements are supportive of his creativity and aesthetic explorations. With regard to his artistic evolution, Calzadilla identifies three periods: figurative, synthetic, and expressionistic, and suggests that these styles are reflected in his later abstract period, which retains certain “lyrical accents.” When he once again started working in his earlier figurative style, in 1954, Barrios relied on the compositional principles of his abstract period, synthesizing his ideas into stylized organic form or pure artistic values. In 1967, his synthesis became more abstract, giving his work greater specificity.
In his essay about the Venezuelan visual artist Armando Barrios (1920–99), the historian and critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) sees the connection between his aesthetic ideas and his pictorial character. Calzadilla was one of the first to have studied the artist’s work and identified the roles played therein by musical and artistic languages. Calzadilla approves of Barrios’s evolutionary process in terms of the unity of style, aesthetic ideas, and subject matter, as well as his development of a visual syntax over the course of his career. This is the most complete retrospective there has ever been of this artist’s work. The essay in the catalogue for the exhibition, Armando Barrios: Retrospectiva, at the Galería de Arte Nacional from December 1977 to February 1978, had appeared before in Revista Imagen, No. 9 (Caracas, September 15–30, 1967). The catalogue is profusely illustrated with black-and-white photographs of all the works in the exhibition; although they are so small that they are hard to see. The final selection of work was from a pool of over eight hundred paintings and fifty-two sketches, which convey the level of research done for the exhibition.