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Synopsis

In this essay, the critic Roberto Guevara discusses the Cuban-born Venezuelan painter Rolando Dorrego’s career and latest work. Guevara begins with a review of the art movement of the early 1970s (in which Dorrego was an active participant), which embraced the use of alternative languages and group projects. Guevara notes that, after that, Dorrego focused on a reinterpretation of the natural world, using a variety of different expressive codes. The critic also discusses Dorrego’s transition from painting to sculpture, and the influence of a number of visual traditions; a “cloud” element is a recurring theme in his work, which characterizes the development of intersecting media and languages.  

Annotations

In 1986, the Cuban-born Venezuelan painter Rolando Dorrego (1943–86) opened his one-man show ¿Dónde están las nubes? at the Galería Miguel & Fuenmayor (Caracas). Once again, his work expressed a figurative synthesis based on the theme of a “cloud” that revealed the influence of Pop Art, geometric abstraction, and advertising design. The critic Roberto Guevara (1932–98) comes up with a retrospective reading of Dorrego’s work when he discerns precedents in terms of both his initiation into the art field and his sources and influences. Narrowing his focus from an overall perspective to a more specific view, Guevara’s essay provides information about the artist and acknowledges the impact of the new 1970s generation of artists on the subsequent development of Venezuelan art as a whole. Dorrego participated in that period’s group projects, which were designed to appeal to the senses via new expressive elements as part of the overall aesthetic experience. His work reveals a formal and expressive diversity that expresses the openness that was so prevalent during the course of that decade and which defined the 1980s as a time of returning (mainly to painting) and conciliations (of every possible kind). Similarly, his training as an architect and his experience in the fields of printmaking and graphic design helped to encourage the synthesis that can be seen in his work, and influenced his preference for the language of advertising as a medium of expression that he found better suited to his work. The essay is also commendable for its conscientious formal review of Dorrego’s work that goes a long way to identifying its many stylistic influences.     

Researcher
Rigel Garcia
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Roberto Guevara, 1986
Location
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.