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In March 1983, members of the Research Department of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas interviewed the painter Ivan Petrovszky about his exhibition at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC (that same year). By way of introduction, the writers summarize the most important aspects of the meeting, highlighting some of Petrovszky’s ideas on painting and his own creative process. The interview itself covers questions about the painter’s work since his arrival in Venezuela (1945), the changes that have taken place during his life as an artist and the figurative art at the center of his explorations. Finally, the painter points out some of the (conscious and subconscious) elements he works in his compositions.
The Venezuelan artist born in Hungary Ivan Petrovszky (1913–2005) ignored the popularity of the avant-garde movements that mostly debated the merits of geometric Abstract art and Abstract Expressionism. Instead, he developed his own visual art explorations that emphasized the values of figurative art. From that firmly-held position, throughout his life as a painter, Petrovszky focused on human representation captured in a cold, melancholy portrayal of daily urban life that offered few rays of hope. This work was often interpreted by critics and the viewing public as an attitude of social criticism. Petrovszky clarifies to his interviewers that this is a mistaken reading of his work: rather than the “pose” of a model, he prefers the “human element” in what he considers his best models: the “poor, simple people” who frequent public parks.
The nature of the interview gives a testimonial value to this text; moreover, the document extracted the most important moments of the meeting.