Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

In this text, the Venezuelan art critic Roberto Guevara analyzes the visual art of Spanish-born artist Ángel Luque. He relates the new chromatic experimentations made by the artist to works by such artists as Herbin, Manessier, Picasso, and the North American avant-garde painters. Guevara particularly highlights the failure by Luque to conform to the established world of contemporary art and to human society in general. His relentless pursuit of new formulas and methods are a direct result of such non-conformity. The author refers to violence as a defining aspect of the artist’s production, using it to break norms and points of references. On several occasions, Guevara refers to texts in other catalogues in which Luque speaks of his process, search, and constant change (Ángel Luque, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, exhibitions in 1964 and 1965).

Annotations

This essay by the Venezuelan poet and art critic Roberto Guevara (1932-98) on the work of the Spanish artist Ángel Luque (1927?2014)—who resided in Venezuela between 1955 and 1967—was published in the Caracas daily El Nacional on the occasion of an exhibition of the artist presented in 1964 at the Museo de Bellas Artes entitled Pinturas. Guevara discovers in his essay that the achievements acquired by Luque’s new informal style of work had not calmed his antagonistic, contradictory, and violent temperament. In fact, the artist was at the point of sacrificing his recognition as an artist by risky and even “irritant” experimentation, as defined by the author. This is a valuable text in that it captures and embodies the personal opinion of an influential voice in Venezuela and its contemporary art world. However, the text reflects Luque’s chief pursuit in his work: the non-acceptance. Guevara did not accept nor reject the work of Luque, but instead insisted that it invoked Luque’s Hispanic passion at its height, recognizing the work as evocative of an artist who was always dissatisfied, and constantly searching for new parameters in the visual arts, which had led him to the use of a more radiant color and of the chromatic spectrum. In Guevara’s assessment, this wider chromatic range was absent in his initial work.  

 

This text stands out because Guevara finds it difficult to classify Luque’s work as a new trend, and he also seemed unconvinced about accepting it as that. Guevara assumed to be neither convinced nor skeptical with regard to Luque’s work. However, he did not see this phase as supportive in establishing limitations that define the artist’s oeuvre.

Researcher
Juan Carlos Azpurua
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Roberto Guevara, 1964
Location
Hemeroteca - Mapateca Carlos Felice Cardot.  Academia Nacional de la Historia.  Palacio de las Academias. Av. Universidad, Esquina San Francisco, Caracas.