Axel Stein, the Venezuelan curator, critic, and cultural agent interviews Carlos Zerpa (b. 1950) in the catalogue for the exhibition Three Venezuelans in Two Dimensions. Miguel von Dangel. Ernesto León. Carlos Zerpa (New York: Americas Society Art Gallery, 1988). Though brief, this interview describes Carlos Zerpa’s training and how it helped to lay the foundations for the range of media he currently works with. He received his early training (from 1963) at a design school, the Politecnico di Milano where, as he explains in the interview, he was attracted by the work of Bruno Munari. He completed his formal education at the Scuola d’Arte Cova (also in Milan), where he studied silkscreen printing and photography, and then went on to study “traditional design” at the Instituto del Diseño y la Expresión Colombiana in Bogotá. Some years later, when he was living in New York City, he graduated from the Arts Students League with a degree in “graphic techniques.” All these disciplines came into play as he developed his works focused on the object, a key part of the exhibition at the Americas Society Art Gallery. In this interview, Zerpa explains that his design studies taught him how to work with certain tools that he uses in his visual art, an eclectic range that includes assemblages, store windows, drawings, sculptures, and publications (having never worked as a designer).
For Axel Stein’s two other texts on the subject of Three Venezuelans in Two Dimensions. Miguel von Dangel. Ernesto León. Carlos Zerpa, the exhibition presented at the Americas Society Art Gallery in New York from January through April 1988, see the interview with Miguel von Dangel , and with Ernesto León , both of whom were well-known artists.