NEW YORK.- The Museum of Modern Art presents the first U.S. retrospective of Armando Reverón, an important early Venezuelan modernist, on view February 11April 16, 2007. The exhibition is organized by John Elderfield, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, in consultation with Luis Pérez-Oramas, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, The Museum of Modern Art.
The first U.S. retrospective of the celebrated Venezuelan artist Armando Reverón (18891954) introduces the work of one of Latin America's most important artists to an international audience. Reverón fused Post-Impressionistic idioms in his unmistakably original paintings, which are both mysterious and utterly radical.
Comprising some 100 workspaintings, drawings, and objectsthe exhibition is grouped into roughly chronological sections that display phases of his work in portraiture, landscape practice, and self-portraiture. In addition to his paintings and drawings, the exhibition also includes life-sized dolls, which the artist used as models, and many of the other objectsmasks, crowns, and musical instrumentsthat he and his companion, Juanita Ríos, created to fill their secluded home in the small Caribbean village of Macuto, Venezuela.
In his early artistic career, in the 1920s, Reverón painted coastal landscapes with monochromatic palettes imitative of the bright white light of the seashore. These highly tactile paintings are unique in early modernism of that period. From the 1930s to the 1950s Reverón painted a range of figure compositions and landscapes, including depictions of industrial activity in the nearby port of La Guaira. By the mid-1930s, his large-format figural compositions, rendered in blurry sepia monochrome, began to take precedence over his landscapes. The subjects of these figure paintings were, increasingly, not human figures but his life-sized dolls. By 1947, his work had become entirely figurative, with the artist himself and his doll-models the subject of an extraordinary group of late drawings.
The exhibition Armando Reverón is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue of the same name, the first major publication on Reverón in English. A critical essay by John Elderfield discusses the artist in the context of modern art, while Luis Pérez-Oramas examines Reverón's place in Latin American art. More than 100 workspaintings, drawings, and objectsare illustrated in the catalogue, accompanied by introductory texts by Nora Lawrence, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. Clothbound: 10 X 10 inches; 240 pages; 164 color and 41 b&w illustrations. $45. The book is distributed to the trade through Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P.) in the United States and Canada and through Thames & Hudson outside of North America. It will be available in February 2007 at MoMA Stores and online at www.momastore.org.