This article by Elsa Flores, an Argentinean critic temporarily based in Venezuela, was written in connection with an exhibition by the Venezuelan visual artist born in Germany, Miguel von Dangel (b. 1946). The Galería Félix (Caracas) was where this 1982 von Dangel show was held, in which a series called Calcos was shown. These are small sculptural pieces worked in gold or silver, representing animals (scorpions and frogs) and other specimens of flora and fauna in the tropical forest. Such works represent a new way of visualizing the landscape, and in Flores’s opinion, they refer to one of the central myths in the world of South America: the search for El Dorado.
Given her extensive knowledge of von Dangel’s work, Flores highlights the contrast between the artist’s new work and his prior creations, such as dried objects. Against that background, the critic develops a new perspective on the artist’s aesthetics. Flores uses the terms “aesthetics of cruelty” and “brutalism” to define the characteristics of the artist’s visual art discourse.
[For other critical texts on the work of von Dangel, see the ICAA digital archives: Yasmin Monsalve’s text, “Mi obra ha tenido que luchar contra muchos prejuicios: Un premio nacional visto con la luz de Petare” (1102125); other texts written by Elsa Flores, “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (I)” (1155150) and “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (III)” (1154906); Roberto Montero Castro’s essay, “Transfiguraciones de Miguel Von Dangel,” published in 1986 (doc. no.1153996); articles written by María Luz Cárdenas, “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (I) (1154028) and “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (II)”(1154092); Ruth Auerbach’s text, “Hoy, el paisaje es aquí y ahora,” published in 1996 (855314); Julio Ortega’s essay, “La iridiscencia del ojo de la materia o como leer un objeto artístico procesal,” published in 1997 (1155251); and, in English, Axel Stein’s text, “Interview with Miguel Von Dangel,” published in 1998 (1102348)].