El regreso de la cuarta nave [The Return of the Fourth Ship, 1982] was one of the emblematic works by German-born Venezuelan artist Miguel von Dangel (b. 1946) featured in the XVII São Paulo Biennial. In her discussion of those works, Argentinean critic Elsa Flores, who lived in Venezuela for a period, formulates the thesis that von Dangel’s work is a consciously “Latin American” response to the international art scene—an argument she backs up with the artist’s own writing and commentaries.
In the second part of her essay, Flores analyzes the main characteristics of von Dangel’s poetics. She argues that because of the way the artist combines elements, his discourse is decidedly Latin American. Flores places emphasis on the jumbled nature of von Dangel’s work, to which she applies the notion of “the marvelous real” formulated by Cuban author Alejo Carpentier. Insofar as it is heterogeneous, hybrid, and tremendista, von Dangel’s work illustrates the baroque Latin American spirit.
The second part of this article was published in the Caracas-based newspaper El Nacional on December 11, 1983, under the title “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (I)” (see ICAA digital archive 1155150).
For other critical texts on von Dangel’s work, see Yasmin Monsalve, “Mi obra ha tenido que luchar contra muchos prejuicios: Un premio nacional visto con la luz de Petare” (ICAA digital archive 1102125); Elsa Flores, “Miguel Von Dangel” (1056044); Roberto Montero Castro’s essay, “Transfiguraciones de Miguel Von Dangel” (doc. no.1153996), published in 1986; María Luz Cárdenas, “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (II)” (1154092), published in 1990; Ruth Auerbach, “Hoy, el paisaje es aquí y ahora”, (855314), published in 1996; Julio Ortega’s essay, “La iridiscencia del ojo de la materia o como leer un objeto artístico procesal” (1155251), published in 1997; and Axel Stein, “Interview with Miguel Von Dangel” (1102348), originally published in English in 1998.