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  • ICAA Record ID
    CAL : la última vanguardia / María Luz Cárdenas
    Cal : La última vanguardia. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofia Imber, 1996
    p. 5-24 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Catalogs
    Cárdenas, María Luz. "CAL : la última vanguardia." In Cal: La última vanguardia, 5-24. Caracas, Venezuela: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofia Imber, 1996.

Curator María Luz Cárdenas discusses the magazine CAL, which was published from 1962 to 1967. Due to the ideology and cultural characteristics of CAL, Cárdenas considers it “the last avant-garde” effort to emerge in Venezuela. Cárdenas values the fact that CAL was not the means of communication of a single group or movement, but instead was a space where different artistic tendencies of the period came together. She discusses the circumstances in which CAL came into being and developed, addressing specifically the sociopolitical context, the role of its founders (Guillermo Meneses and Sofía Imber), their sponsor (Hans Neumann), and the unique graphic design at the hand of Nedo Mion Ferrario.


The publication CAL was created in Venezuela in 1962 as an alternative means of artistic and cultural communication and as a forum for debate between different aesthetic ideas akin to the sociopolitical transformations taking place at the time. The journal of criticism, art, and literature was published until 1967; it is still a major reference about the integration of the arts (text, image, and graphic design). CAL is representative of a decade that witnessed upheaval in a number of realms. The Techo de la Ballena—a group of contrarian publications—emerged in the sixties as well. It voiced a sacrilegious position and stood up against the relative democracy of the period in Venezuela; the Techo de la Ballena, which opposed all aspects of CAL, published a wide variety of texts, from “Investigación de las basuras” by Adriano González de León (see ICAA doc. no. 1060324) to “homenaje a la necrofilia” (doc. no. 868651), a text by Eduardo Robles Piquer (RAS) on the pictorial aspects of the work of Carlos Contramaestre.   


Published in the context of a show held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber in 1996, this text by Venezuelan curator María Luz Cárdenas (b. 1952) makes patent the significance of CAL at the time of its publication. That show rendered the aim of CAL visible, which was mainly to bring together examples of critical writings from Venezuela in the sixties that addressed the principle concerns and changes taking place at a decisive moment of exchange between the avant-garde, society, and culture. In her text, Cárdenas touches on the reasons why this publication was a project without precedent in terms of cultural communication and debate. CAL was a space of integration that encouraged dialogue in a manner that would not have been possible without a visionary sponsor. The magazine layout highlighted potential connections between levels of discourse. The importance of the magazine’s contributions is clear today in light of the subsequent relationship between art and society in Venezuela. 

Rigel Garcia
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
María Luz Cárdenas, 1996
Biblioteca Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Plaza de Los Museos, Parque los Caobos, Caracas 1010, República Bolivariana de Venezuela