Mateo Manaure, a solo exhibition of work by Mateo Manaure (b. 1926), was held at the Museo de Bellas Artes in 1956. One of the last exhibitions of work from Manaure’s early abstract period, critics deemed the show one of the most important art exhibitions of geometric abstraction in Venezuela. By the early sixties, Manaure was experimenting with figuration and later, with Surrealist assemblage and collage. This show represented the culmination of a period in which the artist explored all the possibilities of the Constructivist movement, from large paintings to interventions in public space and works of graphic design.
Indeed, it is that synthetic quality that Venezuelan critic, historian, and photographer Alfredo Boulton (1908–1995) emphasizes in his text. He describes Manaure’s work as an investigation centered on color instead of on matters of form and composition. Boulton also points out the lyrical and poetic facets of Manaure’s work and his ability to convey emotions through the rational language of abstraction. The show represented not only the maturity of geometric abstraction, but also the growing acceptance of that movement on the part of Venezuelan art institutions as more and more exhibitions of geometric abstraction were being organized, paving the way for the acquisition of such works by public art collections.
For other texts on Manaure’s work, see Víctor Guédez, “La creación estético-visual en Mateo Manaure” (ICAA digital archive 1155531); Roberto Guevara’s texts, “Manaure y la inmensa noche” (1156411), “Manaure: Columnas en tierras movedizas” (1155301), and “Manaure y las Cuvisiones” (1156459); Perán Erminy’s essay, “Las imágenes poéticas de Manaure” (1156523); Gastón Diehl’s, “Mateo Manaure” (1156491); Teresa Alvarenga’s article, “Mi obra de hoy: Mateo Manaure llega a los 50 años” (1156427); Pedro Lhaya, “Mateo Manaure o la autenticidad pictórica americana” (1156443); and “La Escuela de artes plásticas de frente y de perfil” (813569), a text by Manaure himself in which he provides a critical overview of the history of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Caracas.