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  • ICAA Record ID
    855992
    TITLE
    II : una división sin contenido plástico : conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta / Miguel Otero Silva
    IN
    El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela). -- Mar. 29, 1957
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Reviews
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

In the second article in his series “Conceptos concretos sobre el arte abstracto,” the writer Miguel Otero Silva rejects the idea of dividing art into two camps: abstract and figurative art. In his opinion, this makes as little sense as talking about “bourgeois” and “proletarian” painting. He acknowledges the presence of abstract principles in many works of art produced in the past, in a number of different civilizations, and considers contemporary abstraction as a worthy movement among others that are equally entitled to be appreciated and studied. He does not, however, tolerate philosophizing about the movement; that is, about doctrines whose promoters seek to impose, while denying the existence of other movements. He believes that the major flaw in the argument presented by those who defend abstract art is their insistence on diminishing art by making it the handmaiden of architecture.   

Annotations

The Venezuelan journalist Miguel Otero Silva (1908–85) makes no reference here to personal or local opinions as he did in his first article, “Sobre unas declaraciones disidentes del pintor Alejandro Otero Rodríguez,” instead discussing general principles intended to inform the reading public. He notes that as a left wing writer, he adamantly opposes arbitrary classifications such as “bourgeois” and “proletarian” painting, which he considers to be as reprehensible as those proposed by abstract artists. Otero Silva accepts the artistic merits of the new movement and the excellence of some works, while dismissing its poetics or theoretical explanation. His main criticism targets the idea that abstract art should be incorporated into architecture, which in his opinion, diminishes the standing of abstract painting and challenges its autonomy. The debate between Miguel Otero Silva and Alejandro Otero Rodríguez was widely followed, and was reviewed in other countries (Colombia, Cuba, and Argentina); its importance is substantiated by the number of times it has been published in Venezuela (1957, 1967, 1976, 1980, 1993, and 2001).

 

[For other articles by Miguel Otero Silva about this subject, see in the ICAA digital archive “I. Un relato necesario. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 855537); “III. Aparición y desarrollo del abstraccionismo. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 856012); “IV. Ubicación social del abstraccionismo. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 856031); “V. Sobre el mundo interior de los abstraccionistas. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 856050); “VI. El regreso a lo funcional y lo decorativo. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 856069); “VII. Formas nuevas y sinceridad. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 856923); and “VIII. Orientaciones de una nueva pintura. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 8569442)].

 

[It all begins with the first reply by Miguel Otero Silva to Alejandro Otero entitled “Sobre unas declaraciones disidentes del pintor Alejandro Otero Rodríguez” (doc. no. 813737)].

Researcher
Roldán Esteva Grillet
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Miguel Otero Silva, 1957
Location
Archivo de Redacción, Diario El Nacional, Urb. Los Cortijos de Lourdes, Caracas