Venezuela Remembers Armando Reverón (1889-1954)

Armando Reverón (1889-1954), Venezuelan painter known for his impressionistic paintings and life sized dolls, was born on May 10; therefore, galleries and institutions all over Venezuela have been honoring him with exhibitions, forums, and other activities during this month. 122 years later, his birthdate was chosen to celebrate the National Day of the Visual Artist [Día Nacional del Artista Plástico].

As El Universal reports, he is known by many monikers: “The Wizard of Light,” “The creator of advanced chromatic formulas,” “The Painter of Light,” and “The Madman of Macuto;” the latter, because in 1921, he moved from Caracas to the Caribbean town of Macuto, where he constructed his walled compound “El Castillete.” There, he repeatedly painted the seascapes and vegetation—palm trees and uveros (sea grape trees)—of the Venezuelan coast.

In 2007 Reverón captivated audiences in New York with a retrospective of over a hundred works at the Museum of Modern Art. This month celebrates “the man who poured his passions and fears into art, interested by the action of light on all forms.” Today (May 16, 2011) in Caracas, there was a workshop entitled Artistas en la Calle [Artists in the Street] at Sucre Square, in the colonial center of Petare, which will be held again on May 23 at Miranda Square, next to the Millennium Mall.

Other events include four exhibitions honoring Reverón at the Arturo Michelena Center for the Arts at the Industrial Bank of Venezuela Foundation: París (1995) Caracas—a photography exhibition by Esso Álcarez; Ámbitos Cromáticos—an exhibition of paintings by Linda Morales, Néstor Maya, and Raúl Felipe Peñalver; Reflexiones, thoughts about his art and life by Luisa Richter; and Figuración-Abstracción-Materia Concepto, by Mario Cicerón, Alfonzo Peña Rojas, and José Ángel Arveláiz.

The TAAP Foundation (Workshop for Education, Arts, and Thought), Plastilinarte, and the School of Social Communication of the Andrés Bello Catholic University sponsored the lecture/discussion Perspectivas del Arte en la Venezuela del 2011 and an exhibition in which 10 artists reinterpreted the work of Reverón. For example, Muu Blanco, Jogreg Henríquez, and Richard Torres presented photographs of the landscapes that Reverón captured and Rosa Salazar created a sculpture inspired by the artist’s dolls. 

The BBVA Provincial Bank Foundation also inaugurated a collective exhibition— Naturaleza Imaginada—with works by Elizabeth Aou, Carola Bravo, José Antonio Fernández, Teresa Gabaldón, Takako Kodani, Valentín Malaver, and Gisela Romero.

See Reverón’s painting “Playa de Macuto” at http://artist.christies.com/Reveron-Armando-1889-1954-41254.aspx

For more information on Reverón, see http://www.efemeridesvenezolanas.com/html/reveron.htm and http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/09/arts/design/09reve.html

For more information on the activities (in Spanish), see http://espectaculos.eluniversal.com/2011/05/10/122-lucecitas-para-reveron.shtml

For an interactive view of the MoMA retrospective show of his work, see http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2007/reveron/index.html

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