This article discusses the Exposición de la afamada pintora venezolana Mercedes Pardo: 50 óleos, acrílicos, collages y otras técnicas, held at the Museo de Arte Moderno de México (MAM) in 1978. The show was previously shown at the GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional) as Del taller de Mercedes Pardo hoy (July/August 1978). Here, El Nacional promotes the international relevance of the painter Mercedes Pardo (1921–2005) just as stated by the director of the MAM, Fernando Gamboa (1909–1990). He is well known for his contributions to Mexican modern culture and dubbed as the “inventor of Mexican museography” (Octavio Paz). Gamboa’s text focuses on the role of the museum, which he directed; he presents Pardo in the context of Venezuelan modernism and how the show demonstrates the MAM’s vocation to promote the art of other Latin American countries. Gamboa refers to previous shows by Alejandro Otero (1921–1990), presented as a pioneer of Kineticism in Latin America; Jacobo Borges (b. 1931), presented as a neo-figurative, with no mention to the historical contribution of his 1968 multimedia project Imagen de Caracas; and Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923–2019), introduced to the public by Gamboa as a kinetic artist whose work revolves around color and imagination.
Gamboa mentions Pardo’s key artistic phases: from the Informal-ism of her canvases, to the semi-figuration of her collages. Her abstract production is seen as “spiritual elevation,” celebrating both composition and commitment to color. Although the text seems to present the exhibition as a retrospective of Pardo’s production (out of fifty works) twenty-four were dated 1976–78. [See in the ICAA Digital Archive: Juan Acha’s reflection on “Mercedes Pardo en México” (1331459">1331459).] This imbalance in the selection is explained by the original title of its venue in Caracas, which emphasizes her most recent production. The Mexican title presents the work in terms of “oils, acrylics, collages and other techniques.”
[Other prominent scholars on Latin American art also wrote about this show. Besides the review by Juan Acha mentioned above (doc. 1331459), see Bélgica Rodríguez, “Abstracción, Espacio y tiempo” (1331443). For other texts by the author, see “Programa museográfico presentado por Fernando Gamboa a la consideración del Lic. Gilberto Loyo, Secretario de Economía” (789346); and “El enriquecimiento de la cultura universal ha sido la principal preocupación del humanismo” (780051).]