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In this document, the art critic Willy Aranguren reviews the origins of the interest in popular art in Venezuela. He places it in the late 1940s, when the Taller Libre de Arte (TLA) took the initiative to show that side-by-side with art in the academic tradition, there was an intuitive art that was subverting the idea of “Western art”, conferring a great recognition of what was indigenous. Similarly, the writer refers to the first exhibitions of popular art held in Venezuelan museums, starting with an exhibition of the work of Bárbaro Rivas at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1956. At the same time, the text praises the work of writers such as Francisco da Antonio and Mariano Díaz, who wrote some essays and articles on popular art.
The importance of this document written by the Venezuelan researcher Willy Aranguren (b. 1953) is as a key source for anyone who wishes to delve into the history of popular art in Venezuela. First, the text provides historical data on the official incorporation of what was popular into the sphere of Venezuelan art. In addition, it offers other interesting information on a few Venezuelan publications on this subject that would be essential for the researcher investigating popular culture.
[For another text by Aranguren about the role of the art salon in the development of the visual arts in the state of Lara, see “Notas en torno a los salones de arte en la región larense” in the ICAA digital archive (doc. No. 1167765)].