Proudly Venezuelan sculptors

If we tried to memorize the names of so many illustrious Venezuelans, we would surely never make it; but based on the old adage that “an image is worth a thousand words,” today we want to present this very special count with the work of 15 outstanding Venezuelan sculptors, whose works you have surely seen in different places.

Alejandro Colina (1901-1976)

One of the greatest exponents of Venezuelan monumental sculpture inaugurates our count. Colina was the author, among other works, of the “Maria Lionza” which is part of the University City of Caracas and can be seen on the highway “Francisco Fajardo” in the capital. Colina summarizes his work in 3 special characteristics: the indigenous theme, the monumental character and the tense and robust rhythm.

Francisco Narváez (1905-1982)

If you’ve ever been to the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, you’ve probably seen some of Narváez’s work, as he has at least six works on campus to admire and enjoy. Narváez’s work is characterized by a strong ethnic component, expressed in a language of its own with black and indigenous reminiscences. His best-known work for Venezuelans: “Las Toninas” at the Plaza Daniel Florencio O’Leary in El Silencio, Caracas.

Alejandro Otero (1921-1990)

Another of the greats of sculpture in our country worthily represented by his works at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. Alejandro Otero stood out, not only as a sculptor, but also as a painter and one of the exponents of kinetic art in our country together with Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Soto. A fact about Otero?

As part of multidisciplinary teams, he studied at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) the relationship between art and science in the contemporary world in 1972. One of his best known works (because it has many) you have surely also seen it: the “Abra Solar” of Plaza Venezuela, Caracas.

Jesús Soto (1923-2005)

It has been said that Soto’s art is inseparable from the observer, it can only be complete with the illusion perceived by the mind as a result of observation. The Guayanese, an icon of kineticism in Venezuela and famous for his “penetrables” is another of the most outstanding sculptors of our country and his work can be found in many parts, both inside and outside the country.

The “Esfera Caracas”, also known as the Sphere of Soto and located on the Francisco Fajardo Highway in Caracas, is just one example of his extensive and prolific work.

Cornelis Zitman (1926-2016)

Although born in the Netherlands, Cornelis is one of many European immigrants who fell in love with our beautiful “Land of Grace” and began a prolific career identifying himself fully as a Venezuelan. His sculptures try to reproduce and exaggerate the morphology of the indigenous people of Venezuela, especially the female figure and some of the best known can be found in the National Art Gallery (GAN), the Museum of Contemporary Art Sofia Imber (MACCSI), as well as the Musée Maillol in Paris, France.

Lía Bermúdez (1930)

One of the most outstanding figures in the field of art in Maracaibo is, without a doubt, Lía Bermúdez. Throughout her life, Lía has been a plastic artist, sculptor, university teacher and cultural promoter. In her sculptural work, the use of metals such as iron and copper plays a fundamental role, although she does not stop working with other materials such as canvas and fibreglass.

A work by Lía that you know for sure? The cement relief design of the Costa Azul building in Maracaibo or the relief at the “Colegio de Ingenieros” station of the Caracas Metro.

Manuel de la Fuente (1932-2010)

His sculpture was characterized by the fullness of volume, the closed contour, the stylization and the use of materials such as plaster, terracotta, wood and stone. His artistic trajectory took place between the official commissioning of monumental sculptures of a public nature and personal inquiries, executed on a smaller scale. The work by which you must know Manuel: The Monument of the “Virgen de la Paz” in the State of Trujillo.

Harry Abend (1937)

Born in Poland and Venezuelan nationalised, Harry is another of the sculptors we invite you to meet today. His works range from the large format to the field of goldsmithing, where he has also been able to make important contributions.

He works with sculptures in wood and with concrete and bronze casts; and he executes apart architectural elements to great scale (doors, walls, ceilings and facades) of important buildings like the Teresa Carreño Theater and of synagogues like the Israelite Union of Caracas, given the Jewish nature of the artist.

Carlos Prada (1944)

Prada won the National Sculpture Award in 1966. His work is based on the treatment of the human figure, giving preference to the feminine forms of pregnant women and with a strong dramatic content. Likewise, he makes some contributions by studying the relationship between man and machine, leaving evidence of this stage as the work “Man and machine”, available for viewing in the gardens of the Simón Bolívar University (USB) in Sartenejas.

Rafael Barrios (1947)

Did you know that communication theorist Marshall McLuhan defined Rafael Barrios’ work as “A fresh fruit for thought”? Pride, no? His work stands out for the use of progressions and the combination of painting and sculpture in each of his pieces, which gives him an unparalleled dynamism and an obligatory gaze on the part of the spectator. One of his works you probably saw is the “Horizontes descendentes”, located next to the BOD-Corp Banca Cultural Center in La Castellana, Caracas.

Daniel Suarez (1950)

Tachirense Painter and Sculptor. His work is based on the use of geometric figures for the realization of a fully abstract discourse and that, in the words of the same artist, always tends to landscaping. Many of his works can now be seen in the “Centro de Arte Daniel Suárez”, a house in the Caracas urbanization of La Florida, and you have surely known a little of his talent in itinerant pieces that have been exhibited at the Bellas Artes Metro Station and the “Andrés Bello” Catholic University (UCAB).

Carlos Medina (1953)

And suddenly figures like giant drops appeared in the Francisco Fajardo, at the height of the Centro Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco (CCCT)”. Surely you also said this astonished when, in mid 2014, the work “Lluvia para Caracas” (Rain for Caracas) by Barquisimeto sculptor Carlos Medina was installed there. His work focuses on geometric and organic abstraction, moving from volumetry to spatiality and from the material to the essential.

His leit-motiv is the drops of water and his work is already known in Belgium, Austria, Chile, Mexico among other countries.

Francisco Pereira (1959)

With an academic background as an architect, Francisco Pereira is one of those new names in Venezuelan sculpture. One of his best-known series is “Bípedos”, a dreamlike and surrealist bestiary that he had the opportunity to present for the first time at the Ibero-American Art Fair in Caracas in 2012, gaining a relevant acceptance by the public. His work has already been exhibited in prominent galleries in countries such as Korea, the United States and Peru.

Luis Mille (1967)

Millé’s sculpture is a body that behaves in space as an active and dynamic entity, and whose orientation in perspective multiplies as it develops as a flexible geometry that proposes plastic realities that the spectator is invited to be and perceive, both existentially and spiritually.

Although his work is not penetrable like Soto’s, Mille’s work also requires the viewer to complete itself. One of his best-known works can be found at Avenida Salvador Feo La Cruz in the Municipality of Naguanagua in Valencia. It is called “Vertical in Torsion”.

Paul Tineo (1975)

Born on Margarita Island, the youngest of this count comes from a training as a Graphic Designer and Art studies at the Escuela Cristóbal Rojas in Caracas and at the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Superiores de Artes Plásticas Armando Reverón.

The characteristic feature of his works is the use of the human figure hanging from somewhere: a swing, a trapeze, a rope. His pieces have been exhibited in important galleries in countries such as Puerto Rico, Panama and the United States, as well as in his native Venezuela.

e

How many of them did you recognize? Which is your favorite? Don’t forget to share your comments at the bottom of this note or through our social networks. We love reading you! We love it as much as we recommend you visit La Tienda Venezolana’s catalog, where you can find small and big details to always take the love for your country home, wherever you are and anywhere in the world.