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Here, Roberto Guevara presents the objectives of the First Camille Pissarro Biennial (Centro Cultural Consolidado, Caracas, 1992). The event was organized to strengthen the ties between Venezuela and France as well as stimulate the development of contemporary art in Venezuela. Guevara turns to history to place the event in its historical context, going back as far as colonial times. He goes on to introduce the work of the artists known as traveling painters, whom he credits with updating the European view of the new continent during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—although undoubtedly it was still a distorted view. Among them, one important artist was Camille Pissarro, whose work celebrated the landscape and local life seen by the artist as he traveled through Venezuela. To conclude, Guevara reports on the work of some of the many artists who participated in the biennial: Luis Romero, Javier Téllez, Alfredo Ramírez, Luis Lizardo, and Pedro Fermín. 


This text was written by the Venezuelan critic and curator Roberto Guevara (1932–1998) on the occasion of the First Camille Pissarro Biennial (Centro Cultural Consolidado, Caracas, 1992). Its importance lies in the organization the writer constructed of Venezuelan art history into concise different periods through which he approaches the work presented at the biennial. Similarly, Guevara confirms the inclusion of young artists in the event along with works “that still retain the impetus of creation.” This is surely evidence of an openness to “new trends” that were not well received at earlier salons in Venezuela that were mainly dominated by painting. Painting was in fact the genre that prevailed during the 1980s in Venezuela and beyond.

Monica Quintini
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Roberto Guevara, 1992
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.