While not a professional art critic, Venezuelan poet Carlos Augusto León (1914–1997) wrote a number of articles over the course of his life in which he presented his ideas and impressions of a range of spiritual expressions, including dance, film, folk art, music, architecture, and the visual arts. In this at times poetic assessment of the work of Venezuelan landscape painter Monasterios (1884–1961), León praises Monasterios for his artistic merits but criticizes his failure to include “the man of the Andes” in his images. That criticism, as well as the other artists he mentions—Héctor Poleo and Pedro León Castros, both of whom were associated with the new school of social realism at the time—insinuates the fact that León was a communist intellectual.
In his text, León takes pains to demonstrate the tie between the paintings in the exhibition of work by Monasterios and the photography of Alfredo Boulton, which suggests he may not have been aware that Boulton took the painter along on his photographic tour of the Andes and then organized a show of his work at the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. That show and this article coincides with a shift from landscape art to social realism that was beginning to take place in Venezuelan art, a change that would soon lead to bitter disputes.
On Monasterios’s work, see the article “Exposición de pinturas de Rafael Monasterios y Armando Reverón” (ICAA 809891) by Enrique Planchart.