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 his essay on Milos Jonic’s work, critic Juan Calzadilla argues that the concepts of “sign,” “matter,” and “space” are more than just terms in a proposal that uses words as means of expression graphically as well as pictorially. Calzadilla asserts that written and spoken language is a primordial part of Jonic’s artistic experience; it is not an accessory but an “agonizing sign.” In Calzadilla’s view, the act of painting is, for Jonic, a “therapeutic gesture” that allows him to rise above—and, indeed, illuminate—the horror of daily experience. The author believes that Jonic’s work cannot be understood without bearing in mind the enormous effort to synthesize that his proposal entails.
This concise text by draftsman and critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) is one of the first writings in Spanish on the work of Venezuelan artist Milos Jonic (1916–99). It was published in the catalogue to the artist’s third solo show, held at Galería G in Caracas in 1962; the previous solo shows had been held at the Universidad Central de Venezuela School of Architecture and Urbanism (1959) and at the Sala Mendoza (1961). This is also one of the few catalogue texts on Jonic’s work, about which little has been written. Despite its brevity, this text manages to delve into the semantic mechanisms used by Jonic to give written, and even spoken, language a new visual meaning. In Calzadilla’s opinion, words are what allow Jonic to find an “ordered response to his inner chaos.” The text provides valuable information on the particular core of the artist’s visual and aesthetic discourse rather than focusing on his life or work in general. Insofar as the artist experiments with different styles (expressionism, informalism, Pop art, surrealism), his work cannot be placed into rigid categories. Calzadilla describes Jonic’s art as “wonderfully jovial” as it wavers between “scrupulous rigor and absolute freedom.”