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The critic Juan Calzadilla analyzes the matter of drawing in [the context of the] Venezuelan art scene during the end of the seventies and the early eighties. The author introduces the text reflecting on the rise of this technique as a skill independent of painting and sculpture, in the different art salons in the country at that time. Following, Calzadilla defines the characteristics of the new drawing, and from them, identifies the causes that stimulate the appraisal of this expressive medium, beyond the traditional visual art languages. Lastly, he examines the economic component and its influence, which is in Calzadilla’s opinion, the basis for the emergence of this artistic phenomenon.


After the decline that painting experienced at the end of the seventies due to the vigor of emergent avant-garde trends, the main exhibition salons in Venezuela were already warning about the worth of the new artistic languages. The most important of these was drawing. In this excerpt from the text “El dibujo en la perspectiva actual,” taken from his book Espacio y tiempo del dibujo en Venezuela, the Venezuelan critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) recognizes the support that the emerging artists of the time were receiving from cultural organizations asserting the diffusion of the visual arts. That was one of the factors that was “a favorable situation at the rise of drawing.” However, the author does not pay great attention to the existing relationship of the explosive phenomenon of drawing to the emergence of graphic arts schools. And, he ignores even the revaluation of humoristic drawing which—according to the research by Roldán Esteva-Grillet (b. 1946) referred to in his essay “Revisión histórico-crítica del dibujo en Venezuela”—is of great importance to this process.

Maria Virginia Pineda Aranda
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Reproduced with permission of Juan Calzadilla, Caracas, Venezuela
CINAP. Centro de Informacion Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Galería de Arte Nacional, Plaza Los Museos, Los Caobos, Caracas.