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Conflicting Modernities: Venezuelan art in the 1950s and 1960s

Saraiva, Stefania (2021) Conflicting Modernities: Venezuelan art in the 1950s and 1960s. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Saraiva, Stefania

Cinetísmo (kinetic art) is the best-known artistic movement to have emerged from Venezuela in its modern period. The works of the major artists of this movement, Carlos Cruz- Diez, Jesus Soto, and Alejandro Otero, are prominently displayed in Venezuela’s major cities, and have been exhibited internationally. This movement, however, does not begin to cover the complex political, social, and economic realities experienced in Venezuela’s modern period (1945-1970s), but rather hid the uneven qualities of the modernizing efforts. For this reason, another collective, El Techo de la Ballena, under the aesthetics of Informalism, Dada, and Surrealism appeared in Venezuela in the 1960s, and sought to challenge the methods of Venezuela’s modernization and the works of Cinetísmo. The objective of this thesis paper is to examine and compare the works of Cinetísmo and El Techo de la Ballena in order to analyze how they represent Venezuela’s history of uneven modernity. I argue that the Venezuelan state’s embrace of Cinetísmo as emblematic of its modernist and nationalist ideals of progress—one which continues to dominate the history of Venezuelan art in the international community as well as inside the country as the most important modernist aesthetic movement—misconstrues and overshadows the importance of the complex relationship between art and politics in Venezuela’s modernization.

Date: 1 May 2021
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 15:02
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 20:45
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3356

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