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Juan Calzadilla refers to the latest installment in Alejandro Otero’s Papeles coloreados series; he calls the artist’s current period his most important one since Coloritmos, and identifies an underlying synthesis of the artist’s creative expression. The author suggests approaching Otero’s Papeles encolados from a “pictorial” perspective, rather than as a technical project, a collage. Calzadilla claims that, in this period, Otero reaffirms his credentials as a painter, working with materials and techniques to create form and composition.  


In 1965, the Galería Mendoza (Caracas) hosted Papeles encolados, an exhibition of work by the Venezuelan painter and sculptor Alejandro Otero (1921–90). In his latest period—after the assemblages he produced in 1962—he has once again engaged with two-dimensional ideas and abstract compositions based on pure forms created with sheets of colored newspaper. In a sense, Otero’s current works are a synthesis of his previous work, reminiscent of both the formal, chromatic Constructivist approach of the Coloritmos and the assemblage of non-pictorial material. In his essay, the draftsman and critic Juan Calzadilla (b. 1931) agrees by rating them as a “retrospective view.” The author’s assessment of the pictorial qualities he sees in Otero’s works is equally significant; he discusses the artist’s handling of colors, forms, composition, and assemblage, indicating that what stands out above everything else in the Papeles coloreados series is its artistic quality. Calzadilla says the expressive and conceptual elements of the work have been articulated “pictorially,” and they are therefore not merely a synthesis of his earlier work, but a prelude to the return to painting via the new Coloritmos and the Tablones of the 1970s.


[To read other critical essays about his work, see in the ICAA digital archive by J. R. Guillent Pérez (another member of Los Disidentes) “Realidad e irrealidad. El postigo de Alejandro Otero” (doc. no. 1172158); by Guillermo Meneses “La exposición de Alejandro Otero Rodríguez” (doc. no. 1097092); by Roberto Guevara “La vertical vibrante de Maracay, 1968” (doc. no. 1168201); the catalogue essay by François Sego for the exhibition Alejandro Otero (1949) (doc. no. 850732); the article by Héctor Mujica “La nueva plástica venezolana” (doc. no. 850512); the article by María Elena Ramos “Alejandro Otero: indagar en las estructuras de la realidad” (doc. no. 1167733); the review by Ernesto Guevara “Sólo quisiera ser puntual. El tiempo en la pintura de Alejandro Otero” (doc. no. 1163813); the essay by Damián Bayón “El espacio dinámico en la obra de Alejandro Otero” (doc. no. 1167828); the article by Juan Calzadilla “Alejandro Otero y la enseñanza del arte” (doc. no. 1167940); the article by Miguel Otero Silva “Sobre unas declaraciones disidentes del pintor Alejandro Otero Rodríguez” (doc. no. 813737); and finally, the reviews by José Ratto-Ciarlo “En pro y en contra de Alejandro Otero” (doc. no. 850770) and Juan Carlos Palenzuela, “Una conciencia de arte latinoamericano” (doc. no. 1163142)].

Rigel Garcia
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Reproduced with permission of Juan Calzadilla, Caracas, Venezuela
Biblioteca Nacional, Caracas, Colección Publicaciones Seriadas de la Biblioteca Nacional