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    [La obra de Martha Cabrujas constituye la experiencia...] / Francisco Da Antonio
    Martha Cabrujas. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Gobierno del Distrito Federal. Sala de Exposiciones Plaza Bolivar, 1973
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Da Antonio, Francisco. "[La obra de Martha Cabrujas constituye la experiencia...]" In Martha Cabrujas. Caracas, Venezuela: Gobierno del Distrito Federal. Sala de Exposiciones Plaza Bolivar, 1973
    Cabrujas, Marta, 1946-

describing her beginnings and her handling of the potter’s wheel and moves on to describe her turn toward modeling clay. He also mentions the short period in which she creates geometric work, to then return to “the material.” The critic reviews the most important milestones in her art life, highlighting her experience as a teacher in several art institutes. These include: the visual arts school “Rafael Monasterios” in Maracay; both the visual arts school “Martín Tovar y Tovar” and ceramics workshops at the Instituto Politécnico, in Barquisimeto; and the [Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Bellas Artes] (INCIBA) in Caracas. In the critic’s opinion, Cabrujas’s teaching experience brought her a new understanding of “what is art.” Da Antonio analyzes a broad selection of work created by the artist, particularly, the series “rocks” and “boxes,” in which he perceives an extraordinary lyric symbolism.


The painter and critic Francisco Da Antonio (b. 1930) chronologically summarizes the work of the Venezuelan artist Martha Cabrujas (b. 1946), in an essay written at the time of her first solo exhibition. While there were three earlier shows at academic institutes without much impact—being, instead of “intimate” character—this first real exhibition was held at the Sala de Exposiciones in the Plaza Bolívar [Caracas] in 1973. Although it is not mentioned in the catalogue text, the main focus of this show was a tribute to the work of Hieronymus Bosch [El Bosco], including a fantastic bestiary with zoomorphic figures and vegetal monsters. Da Antonio does not hesitate to deem Cabrujas the most important representative of contemporary ceramicists in Venezuela. He compares the appearance of this artist on Venezuela’s contemporary art scene with that of Mario Abreu, based on the richness of the symbols, lyrics, dreams, and myths that appear in her work and its surreal quality. The critic considers the influence exercised by her own nature on her art approach of particular importance. In spite of having an “overbearing” personality, she has no interest in notoriety and does not stand out as a “major” public figure in the art world. In fact, her sole desire in the art sphere is to create honest, disinterested work. In order to understand Cabrujas’s work, it is vitally important to accept the concept she outlined, later taken up by Da Antonio: “Ceramic Sculpture.” Given this term, any trace of traditional ceramics would disappear, as the artist began to work the clay without any sense of utility or decorative purpose.

Juan Carlos Azpurua
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Francisco Da Antonio, 1973
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.