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Bélgica Rodríguez, President AICA-Venezuela and Édgar Sánchez, artist. Courtesy Centro Cultural BOD. Photo ©Ibrahim Alfonzo

Bélgica Rodríguez, President AICA-Venezuela and Alejandro Freites. Courtesy Centro Cultural BOD. Photo ©Ibrahim Alfonzo

AICA Venezuela 2017


Caracas, Venezuela
Susana Benko

The Venezuelan chapter of the International Association of Art Critics recently granted the AICA Awards 2017 during an award ceremony organized at the Centro Cultural BOD. On this occasion, the jury was formed by art critics María Luz Cardenas, Mariela Provenzali, and Víctor Guédez. They were entrusted with evaluating a vast cultural practice that stands out for its quality despite the conflicts and incidents that afflicted Venezuela during 2017. The event once again demonstrated the willingness and commitment of artists, galleries, and cultural institutions to overcome socio-political adversities on behalf of Venezuela's high cultural offer.

The "Masters of Venezuelan Arts Award" was given to Édgar Sánchez, a bastion of modern figuration in painting and graphic art. His work is widely recognized at the national and international levels. It stands out for expressing the essence of human condition. Magdalena Fernández received the "Consecrated Artist Award" for work that transcends its formal and constructive possibilities to involve body and nature through installations, sculptures, and videos. The "Young Artist Award" was granted to Paul Parrella, an action painter whose work centers on different ways or rendering nature. Miguel Braceli on the other hand, was recognized for his prominent international projection. Braceli has participated in group interventions involving the creation of structures amid natural and urban spaces in several cities of Latin America and Europe.

The "Best Solo Show Award" went to the exhibition "Escape Room" by Pepe López. The impact of this exhibition resided in its scale, the diversity of its proposals and thematic relevance (the reality of migration and the Venezuelan diaspora, as well as a reconceptualization of the artistic tradition of modernity). The "Best Group Exhibition Award" was given to the exhibition titled "Past and Future in the Present" shown at the Centro Cultural BOD. Curated by Bélgica Rodríguez and Víctor Guédez, it included a large number of artists and works centered on the subject of time. The books Sydia Reyes. Escultora (Sydia Reyes. Sculptor) with texts by Víctor Guédez and Bélgica Rodríguez, and Medina, de lo material a lo esencial (Medina, from the Material to the Essential) with text by Bélgica Rodríguez—both books designed by Zilah Rojas—were granted the "Best Books of the Year Award." Likewise, the publications by the Beatríz Gil Galería received the "Best Catalogs of the Year Award."

The Galería La Otra Banda, in Mérida, was recognized for its consistent work of more than fifty years promoting contemporary Venezuelan art. On the other hand, young artist Julian Waldman received the AICA Award in the Luisa Palacios Graphic Miniature Biennial, an event organized by the Taller de Artistas Gráficos and supported by the CAF-Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina.

Lastly, the event also granted three special mentions to: Alejandro Freites, for his continuous work through the foundation of the Galería Freites since 1977; Lourdes Peñaranda, for her outstanding direction of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia; and Gladys Yúnes, for her contributions as member of AICA, art critic, and museologists.




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