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Alejandro Otero

(Bolívar, Venezuela, 1921 - Caracas, Venezuela, 1990)

Alejandro Otero was one of the most influential Venezuelan artists of the twentieth 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 Cafeteras where he abandoned figuration for geometric abstraction. Thanks to it, he became a part of Los Disidentes, a group of Venezuelan artists living in France that sought to renovate the art of their country where they born. In 1955, the artist developed the series Coloritmos, modular paintings in rectangular formats, made with modern materials such as the automotive lacquer, applied with spray guns over wooden or plexiglass surfaces. The idea was to immerse the spectator into a constructive process where rhythms and spaces become the same, extending beyond the paintings themselves.

Soon, he was dedicated to the research and exploration of civic sculptures, a result of his continuous interest on the spatial and social relationships of artworks. After all, for Otero, art represented “a personal drama in which modern man might recognize his image.” In this sense, he was a part of the artists that realized works for the University City of Caracas. He was also vice president 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.