This review notes the importance (in the 1960s) of artists exploring abstraction (geometrical or not) given that seven of the twelve candidates were at that time producing versions of abstract art. Jesús Soto is mentioned in the catalogue (which also includes one of his Vibraciones); Carlos Cruz-Diez is also mentioned as the designer of the catalogue, which underscores the difference between these two and the rest of the fine painters who participated in Miguel Arroyo’s project. They bookend the group of selected artists, appearing at the beginning and the end of the article. The other photograph in the article is of the director of the MBA, who is from Caracas, and is unanimously recognized for having started modern museography in Venezuela, the abstract artist himself.
The fact that guidelines can be detected even in such a short newspaper review underscores the marked progressive and universalist trend of Venezuelan modernity, which is undoubtedly Eurocentric and resolutely open to the quest for universality that characterized the thinking of most of the abstract artists (from the 1950s to the 1980s). The article discusses an (apparently “diplomatic”) traveling exhibition that was part of the national promotion conducted by the embassies of the major European nations who were quite interested in, and generous to, oil-rich Venezuela, a market and a substantial ally for postwar Europe that was still struggling during their economic recovery.
This review discusses the increasing importance of (in addition to the Kinetic artists) the role of the “curator,” not nominally referred to like that. Miguel Arroyo, the intellectual who organized the exhibition, attracted sufficient attention to ensure that the title of the article should begin with his name and that the article should include a photo portrait of him. All that suggests a local art milieu taking its first timid steps toward addressing problems beyond art conceived as production and contemplation, to open up to expressions that, as in the case of the curator, require powers of observation, reception, and interpretation of these works in particular contexts.