Venezuela Sculpture

By | December 16, 2021

The material difficulties for its realization (costs, technical systems, space) and the scarcity of applicants, greatly influenced the slowed development of Venezuelan sculpture, from independence to the 1940s. 20 °. While in the Colony the wooden sculpture counted on the permanent patronage of the Church and the faithful, helping to forge a tradition configured by amalgamating cultural elements of various origins, subsequently the state became the main client, for a few works, in order to forcibly magnify the recent ones. heroes and memorable moments of the formation of the Republic.

Palacios (1847-1919) is the first sculptor to achieve a solid academic preparation, trained in Munich. In Caracas he owns the Monument to Carabobo, also called La India del Paraíso, inaugurated in 1911. The sculptors active in the early twentieth century will be the continuers of the academic realism he inaugurated, conditioned above all by the delusions of the two dictatorships that from 1899 to 1935 will drag the stereotypes of the homeland monument, allegory and rhetoric: an example is the Monument to Carabobo (1930), erected in the place of the battle. For Venezuela culture and traditions, please check

Among the most notable sculptors of that period are: A. Pérez Mujica (1879-1920) author of the Momumento a José Antonio Paéz (corrections and fusion by E. Palacios), inaugurated in 1905 in Caracas, and the Monumento al Guaicaipuro in the city Los Teques exhibited at the French Salon of 1906 (under the title Indios Combatientes); L. Gonzáles (1877-1948), La Tempestad of 1914, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; the Catalan A. Cabré y Magriñá (1863-1940), in Venezuela from 1895 or from 1896; P. Basalo (1886-1948), El Medium, from 1914, Galería de Arte Nacional; Cruz Alvarez García (1870-1950).

Modern sculpture began by F. Narváez (1905) and the Spanish sculptor E. Maragall (1903). The latter was a pupil of P. Gargallo in Barcelona and from 1940 professor of sculpture at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Caracas (fountain in the Los Caobos park, and historical reliefs of the Paseo los Próceres, in Caracas).

In the development of Narváez’s work, the stimuli of not only Venezuelan but also Latin American society are felt. In the period called criollista (exhibition in the Venezuela Club of Caracas in 1938), it is linked to a contemporary continental circuit; somatically native characters, strong geometric schematization of the figures (in the same period A. Colina, born in 1901, with the Monument to María Lionza, autopista F. Fajardo, Caracas, also attempts Indigenism). His first abstract exhibition, Formas Nuevas, was held in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1954. Narváez’s anthological exhibition in the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Caracas dates back to 1976.

The total opening to modern European sculpture will take place after World War II with the economic flourishing of the country and the frequent travels of artists. With the beginning of the fifties the knowledge of the great masters of international sculpture is facilitated, on the one hand, with the integration or Síntesis de las Artes, in the Ciudad Universitaria of Caracas, on the other with exhibitions in the Museo de Bellas Artes and with shop for his collection. From then on, the development of experimental sculpture will be dizzying.

Sculpture, which had been kept somewhat aloof in art studies (in 1887, with the creation of the Academia de Bellas Artes, the study of this discipline began, but without giving it too much importance), with the reform, in 1958, of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas, she was brought to the same level as painting. Many painters switch to sculpture: A. Otero since 1967 makes the most of, for his structures, the advanced technology experimented with the Massachusetts Institute, USA; the first experiences in sculpture by M. Manaure (from which the Cuvisiones originate) and E. Gramcko were presented at the exhibition La Escultura y sus posibilidades in the Museo de Ciencias Naturales in Caracas (1967); C. Gonzales Bogen is a precursor of constructivist sculpture, Móviles and Estables were exhibited in 1954 in the Cuatro Muros gallery, a center he founded in Caracas which served to give impetus to geometric abstractionism. It is difficult to establish the boundary between painting and sculpture in some artists, for example. Soto, Abreu, or Manuel Mérida (1936) who electrically moves sand and other materials.

In the field of experimental sculpture, the first works were done with iron; among the initiators we remember: Venezuela Valera, born in 1927 (he studied in Paris with Dewasne, as was required by some Venezuelans interested in abstract art at the beginning of the 1950s; his work will subsequently enter the geometric rigor through metalworking), O. Carreño and Gego (Gertrudis Goldsmicht), born in 1912 in Germany, graduate engineer-architect, who has lived in V since 1939: her first works in sculpture are from 1950. Gego will bring the reduction of the object elements to a minimum in order to achieve the maximum balance of the combination of sensitivity and reason:), or they are arranged in a manner of dense and random dribbles (Los Chorros). P. Briceño (1931) manages to wrest the greatest poetry from iron, abstract-geometric sculpture in asymmetrical games.

Marisol (Marisol Escobar, b. 1930) lived for many years in the United States of America, where she is considered one of the architects of Pop Art.

In 1968 he represented the Venezuela at the Venice Biennale and since then he began an approach to his homeland by creating sculptures for public places. Very skilled in the work of wood and in the use of assemblages, drawing, painting and sculpture are visible in her works. A playful, popular Latin American naivete is also revealed in his work (The Family, 1962: Museum of Modern Art in New York). At the antipodes – in the figurative one, in the abstract the other – also for the contrasting poetic intentionality, move C. Zitman (1926) and H. Abend (1937), as C. Prada (1944) and C. Castillo (1942). A. Collie (1939) magnetically suspends metallic forms in a vacuum.

Proof that even after very long lethargy, elements of the past reawaken with vigor, it is the height of ceramics, a very fertile ground in the pre-Columbian era. The functionalism-oriented training of ceramists that M. Arroyo (1920) carried out, from 1954 to 1957, in the Escuela de Artes Plásticas contributed to this.

Venezuela Sculpture