This is the first part of the essay in which the Venezuelan critic and curator María Luz Cárdenas (b. 1952) reviews La Batalla de San Romano, Miguel von Dangel’s version of the homonymous painting by Paolo Uccello, the Renaissance painter. Von Dangel (b. 1946) produced his version on a set of panels that, altogether, are about thirty two meters long and are a combination of painting and sculpture. It was exhibited for the first time in 1990 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas. Two years later, this huge work represented Venezuela at the 1992 Biennale di Venezia.
In this first section, Cárdenas discusses von Dangel’s interest in the Renaissance piece, basing her remarks on a study of the values in Uccello’s work and relying on the opinion of the French writer Marcel Schwob, as the similarities she sees between the two pieces become apparent. She also explains how von Dangel reworks and transfers those contents to his dual reading of the Discovery and the New World, adding a splash of contemporary politics by using the artist’s own words, drawn from quotes mentioned in his diaries and sundry press articles. According to Cárdenas, Miguel von Dangel’s version of La Batalla de San Romano represents a fine distillation of his aesthetic and conceptual experience, and expresses his thoughts on what he considers the “Western visual” crisis.
To read other critical texts on the work of the artist Miguel von Dangel, see the article by Yasmín Monsalve “Mi obra ha tenido que luchar contra muchos prejuicios: un premio nacional visto con la luz de Petare” ; the articles by Elsa Flores “Miguel von Dangel: la respuesta latinoamericana (I)” , “Miguel von Dangel: la respuesta latinoamericana (II)” , and “Miguel von Dangel” ; the essay published in 1986 by Roberto Montero Castro “Transfiguraciones de Miguel von Dangel” [doc. no.1153996]; the essay by María Luz Cárdenas “La Batalla de San Romano de von Dangel (II)” ; the essay published in 1996 by Ruth Auerbach “Hoy, el paisaje es aquí y ahora” ; the essay published in 1997 by Julio Ortega “La iridiscencia del ojo de la materia o como leer un objeto artístico procesal” ; the interview published in 1998 by Axel Stein “Interview with Miguel von Dangel” ; María Cecília Valera’s interview “Entrevista con Miguel von Dangel” ; María Josefa Pérez’s interview “Miguel von Dangel: no creo el cuento de que Reverón era loco” ; and the article by Víctor Guédez “Lo barroco y lo simbólico en la obra de Miguel von Dangel” .