El Manteco, 1921 - Caracas, Venezuela, 1990.
Otero was one of the most influential Venezuelan artists of the 20th century, who became prominent for the re-evaluation of the relations between light, space, and perception throughout his career. From 1939 to 1945 he studied painting, sculpture, glassworks and art education at the National School of Arts of Caracas.
From 1946 to 1952 he lived in Paris thanks to a state scholarship, and it was in his series known as the Cafeteras where he abandoned figuration in favor of geometric abstraction. Thanks to the latter, he became a part of The Dissidents, a group of Venezuelan artists living in France that sought to renovate the art of their country of birth. In 1955, the artist developed the Coloritmos, modular paintings in rectangular formats, made with modern materials such as the automotive lacquer Duco, applied with spray guns over wooden or plexiglass supports. The idea was to immerse the spectator into a constructive process in which rhythms and spaces become the same, extending beyond the paintings themselves.
The Coloritmos marked the tendency of the Venezuelan avant-garde that would emerge at the end of the 1950s and during the 1960s, turning Otero into an artist of great recognition, both national and international.
Soon after, he was dedicated to the research and exploration of civic sculptures, a result of his continuous focus on the spatial and social relationships of artworks. After all, for Otero art signified “a personal drama in which modern man might recognize his image.” In this line of thought, he was a part of the artists that realized works for the University City of Caracas. He was also vicepresident of the National Institute of Culture and Fine Arts of Venezuela from 1964 to 1966, and in 1971 he obtained the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation scholarship for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which allowed him to continue his inquiry about sculptures in public spaces.
Alejandro Otero transformed the artistic life of Caracas, and his work was the seed of wide debates about the Latin American avant-garde throughout the 20th century.
Collage on board
66h x 50w x 5d cm
25 125/127h x 19 87/127w x 1 123/127d in