The text of the researcher and art critic Víctor Guédez (b. 1945) can be considered as the most important and extensive essay written on the Venezuelan painter Armando Barrios (1920−99) until today. Published under the auspices of the GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional), the book was conceived against the backdrop of his dialogues with the artist and his wife, Reina Rivas, based on their friendship and personal interest. Here, Guédez occupies himself in trying to establish a concise periodization that, although not well supported, allows us to get a glimpse of Barrios’s pictorial evolution. This scheme was strategically elaborated in support of the thesis that Barrios’s work maintained unity and thematic coherence during his career, with respect to his semantic content and their syntactic references. To Guédez, this allowed the artist to construct a formal creative synthesis, especially manifested during the period between 1956 and 1975. From the essayist’s standpoint, Barrios’s constant concerns were palpable when he reviewed in a retrospective manner the references and the reasons that would accompany him as the platform of his most structured aesthetic concerns.
[As supplementary reading on Barrios’s work, see in the ICAA digital archive the essays by historian Rafael Páez “La nueva figuración” (1157952) and “Tradición sin servilismo” (1157968); another essay by Guédez from the book Armando Barrios. Lo permanente, lo novedoso y lo influyente, “La pintura y la música” (1158033); and Roberto Guevara in “Armando Barrios. Constantes para no seguir adelante” (1158049). Additionally, consult the biographical text by Juan Röhl, “Introducción” to the Barrios retrospective (1163701)].