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This document sets forth the contents of the program, the activity schedule and the different venues of the 1st Encuentro Iberoamericano de Críticos de Arte y Artistas Plásticos, held in Caracas June 18 – 27, 1978. It gives the names of all the public figures who attended the conference, the titles of their respective talks and/or working group discussions; similarly, it reports on other activities going on in parallel with the conference. The text concludes by listing the different event-organizing committees and their members, as well as the sites and themes of related exhibitions taking place all over the country.


This document enables us to learn about the proportions and scope of the 1st Encuentro Iberoamericano de Críticos de Arte y Artistas Plásticos, organized in 1978 by the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas. In addition to the U.S. art professor and historian Jacqueline Barnitz, there were other important public figures in attendance, such as Jorge Alberto Manrique, Ida Rodríguez Prampolini, and Berta Taracena (from Mexico), Jorge Glusberg and Antonio Berni (from Argentina), Juan Acha (a Peruvian based in Mexico), Julio Le Parc (an Argentinean living in Paris), Adelaida de Juan (from Cuba), Carlos Rodríguez Saavedra and Élida Román (from Peru), Galaor Carbonell (a Cuban living in Colombia), Marco Miliani, Alirio Rodríguez, and Roberto Montero Castro (from Venezuela), Carlos Areán (from Spain), Marta Traba (an Argentinean living in Colombia), Roberto Pontual and Aracy A. Amaral (from Brazil). One of the most ambitious goals of the meeting was to bring together all the Latin American countries. CIDAPAL (Centro de Investigación, Documentación y Difusión de las Artes Plásticas de América Latina), formed in Caracas, was to be the institution coordinating all the activities of this ambitious project. Running in parallel to this event, the exhibition Arte iberoamericano de hoy included painting by more than 80 painters from around the continent, with the work divided among all the main Venezuelan museums. Although the event was a great success and met its objectives, its long-term goals were not achieved, and CIDAPAL disappeared shortly thereafter. An important precursor to this event was the Austin Symposium, organized by Damián Carlos Bayón under the auspices of the University of Texas at Austin in late October 1975. Many of the participants at the 1978 conference had previously attended the Texas symposium. A book about that symposium was published in Venezuela by Bayón himself (as a reporter and organizer of the book): El artista latinoamericano y su identidad (Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores; Colección Estudios, 1977). [In this regard, see the ICAA digital archive for the lectures presented there by Acha (doc. no. 1065080), Amaral (doc. no. 776786), and Traba (doc. no. 1065742)]. They were published in chapter IV.4 “Debating Identity on a Continental Scale” of the book Resisting Categories: Latin American and/or Latino? organized by Héctor Olea, Mari Carmen Ramírez, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto in the series Critical Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston / International Center for the Arts of the Americas, 2012).

Josefina Manrique
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Centro de Documentación. Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. Plaza de Los Museos, Parque los Caobos, Caracas 1010,   República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Telf:  58-212-5726841