In this text, artist and critic Alejandro Otero (1921–90) describes his personal relationship with Venezuelan artist Antonio Edmundo Monsanto (1890–1948). From 1939 to 1944, Otero was a student of Monsanto’s at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas (EAPA)—which Monsanto directed—and this text conveys Otero’s vision of Monsanto’s work in education. The text evidences the student’s affection and admiration for his teacher and, as such, suggests the bond between Monsanto and young artists. Otero cannot help but make reference to what turned out to be a temporary rupture from other professors at the EAPA. After Antonio Edmundo Monsanto’s death, his brother, Bernardo Monsanto (1897–1968), directed the school from 1948 to 1953. During those years, the EAPA was harshly questioned by groups like the Taller Libre de Arte (TLA), founded in Caracas in 1948, and Los Disidentes—of which Otero was a member—founded in Paris in 1950. Otero’s conciliatory tone is startling since his impeccable writings were never complacent; Otero, one of the most scathing “dissidents” of his time, died seven months after writing this text.
[For another text on Monsanto’s work, see in the ICAA digital archive the untitled text by José Antonio Calcaño [“Antonio Edmundo Monsanto, uno de los más excepcionales y altísimos valores pictóricos…”] (1161838)].