In February 1967, Omar Carreño (1927?2013) presented his “transformable” paintings and sculptures at a one-man show in the gallery at the Fundación Mendoza in Caracas. The assembled works expressed his need to involve viewers in the transformation of the pieces, whose mobile mechanisms (buckets, hinges, and so on) created a partly two-dimensional, partly three-dimensional experience. Barely a month earlier, Carreño and three other artists presented the first Grupo Expansionista exhibition, at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, where they produced the group’s First Manifesto. This document advocates a “break” from (static, figurative) two-dimensional works to pave the way for the public’s creative development through their interaction with so-called “transformable works.” In his essay for the Galería Mendoza, Manuel Quintana Castillo (1928?2016), who was also a painter, assessed the impact of the Expansionist manifesto, defending the project’s ideas, though not necessarily agreeing with them. One important aspect of the essay is that it provides some history of the Expansionist movement, and explains that, back in 1967, Carreño had been working on the project for fifteen years (since 1951). The author thus bestows legitimacy on this idea that had been challenged by other artists’ work. In the same vein, Quintana Castillo talks about the question of “local” art versus “foreign” art, and the identity values inherent in Figurative and Abstract works of art.
[To read other articles about this artist’s work, see in the ICAA digital archive the interviews by Alfredo Schael “Omar Carreño. Premio a la constancia, al genio y a la rectitud del proceder creador” (1157337); by Carlos Silva “Si todos los barcos del mundo…” (1157369); by Mara Comerlati “Omar Carreño, figurativo” (1157353); by Antonio Muiño, under the alias of El Diablo Cojuelo, “El expansionismo. Último ‘ismo’ inventado en París por Omar Carreño, pintor abstracto” (1157320); the review by Carlos Maldonado Bourgoin “Vuelta sobre los pasos” (1157385); the essay by Juan Calzadilla “El nereida. Óleos recientes” (1157417); and the article by Susana Benko “Omar Carreño. Coherencia de un pensamiento plástico” (1157304)].