The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Adopting a different tone from the one he used in his previous article (“El regreso a lo funcional y a lo decorativo”), Miguel Otero Silva assures his readers he has nothing against new trends in art; but he objects to the assumption that abstract art is the only valid alternative. The journalist goes on to compliment several abstract artists on their commendable work. He accepts that every artist must search for new forms of expression, but without sacrificing (for snobbish reasons) their aesthetic, human sincerity since, in his opinion “art is the expression of what is truly ours,” as Wassily Kandinsky said.
In this article Miguel Otero Silva (1908–85) takes a conciliatory tone and praises the work and talent of several Venezuelan abstract artists, therefore seeking to avoid being taken for a “dinosaur” of painting, one of those people who dismisses modern art and cannot move beyond the “old” style. He accepts that everything new at first always seems incomprehensible, but bluntly restates his aversion to Neoplasticism, regretting that some of the younger artists err on the side of snobbishness and insincerity. The author (who collects the work of some of these artists) tries to avoid sounding like a reactionary, striving to ingratiate himself with the young artists. He is clearly a fan of the lyricism of Wassily Kandinsky, whom he quotes at the end of his article. The text of the debate between Miguel Otero Silva and Alejandro Otero Rodríguez was widely read and was reviewed abroad (in Colombia, Cuba, and Argentina); its importance is affirmed 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 on this subject, see in the ICAA digital archive “I. Un relato necesario. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 855537); “II. Una división sin contenido plástico Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 855992); “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); and “VIII. Orientaciones de una nueva pintura. Conceptos concretos sobre la pintura abstracta” (doc. no. 856942)].
[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)].