Art in Venezuela

Art in Venezuela

Debra D. Andrist

Ariel Jiménez, ed.
Alfredo Boulton and his Contemporaries: Critical Dialogues en Venezuela Art, 1912-1974,
MoMA, New York, 2008, 376 pp.


Historically, few art museums or critics in the United States have focused on art produced in Latin America, or by Latin Americans, with a few notable exceptions, particularly selected Mexican artists and works, and especially from the Twentieth Century. Thus, any other Latin American perspectives or productions, as in Alfredo Boulton and his Contemporaries: Critical Dialogues in Venezuelan Art, 1912- 1974, have been virtually unknown in the U.S. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has made a concerted effort to highlight art from that very diverse area, and expand knowledge of it, via a series of books published by their International Program, “in order to make crucial art-historical writings from nations or regions outside the United States available in English” (cover jacket). A prior work in that series spotlights the Southern Cone of South America with Listen Hear Now!: Argentine Art of the 1960s: Writings of the Avant Garde (2004). The latest addition to the MoMA series addresses Northern South America. The four chapters of that text feature both historical and contemporary essays, commentaries and documents, and cite from notes, letters, literary works and group manifestos, by a wide variety of art and literary critics and writers, including Boulton himself (a MoMA collaborator in his time) and the editor, Jiménez, followed by appendices of Venezuelan events and bibliography. The anthology’s chapters set the chronology and ambience of the general Latin American geographical milieu, and of the national Venezuelan cultural stage, in ever-more specifi c context and content. Based on and summarizing the title’s elemental art critic/cultural historian/photographer’s analyses of the so-called modern century (or most of a unique one) in Venezuela, the text’s core frames other insights into the development of a distinct artistic reality in that country.

Posted: April 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

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