The journalist Teresa Alvarenga interviewed the Venezuelan visual artist Elsa Gramcko (1925–94), and the resulting article was published in El Universal in 1979. The article was part of the “Los ‘otros’ artistas” [“The ‘Other’ Artists”] series, which focused on relatively obscure artists who were unknown to the general public and art critics. In this revealing conversation, Gramcko explains—with what her interviewer describes as “bold honesty”—why she has distanced herself from the Venezuelan art world. This interview was conducted during the period of her work that was known as “Bocetos de un artesano de nuestro tiempo” (1974–78) (Galería de Arte Nacional, 1997) and, though the article states that there were over 40 works (on which she has worked during the last 2 years), they were not exhibited until 1986. Gramcko’s reluctance and scant enthusiasm reinforced her feeling that an exhibition of her work would generate minimal interest. Gramcko has always been pegged as an Informalist; on this occasion, however, she rejects any and all attempts to label her work, refusing to be associated with the abstract geometric, Informalist, or any other kind of movement. Gramcko speaks very frankly in this interview about her rejection and resentment of the contemporary art world, which in turn has led to her complete ostracism. She makes some scathing remarks in the interview, such as: “I don’t even want to be in my studio;” and: “Taking part in an exhibition would mean getting involved, talking, working—I’m just not in the mood.” She feels the same way in her personal life: “I deal with fewer and fewer people as time goes by (…), it gets harder to talk with any sort of depth;” and: “I’d rather not say anything about Puerto Cabello. I’d like to erase those 19 inhibition-filled years. I hate that place;” and: “I’d rather have nothing to do with children.” On the other hand, Gramcko mentions a recording of a recent interview with Juan Calzadilla, published nearly 20 years later (Galería de Arte Nacional, 1997).
To read other critical essays about this artist and her interviews, see the essay by Oswaldo Trejo published in 1966, “Elsa Gramcko” ; the article by Alberto Anzola published in 1968, “Elsa Gramcko y sus cuadros mágicos” ; the article by Roberto Guevara, published in El Nacional in 1969, “Abstractos inéditos de Elsa Gramcko” ; the essay by Juan Calzadilla published in 1969, “Elsa Gramcko: la atracción de las texturas” , and his “Entrevista con Elsa Gramcko” published in 1976 ; by Clara Diament de Sujo, “Elsa Gramcko” ; and the essay by Juan Carlos López Quintero published in 1997, “Elsa Gramcko, una alquimista de nuestro tiempo” .