Armando Reverón was a Venezuelan artist born in Caracas on May 10, 1889, the date decreed in Venezuela as the National Day of the Visual Artist, to commemorate the birth of this great artist. Reverón, considered one of the most important creators in his country and in Latin America, was a very original, creative, and productive artist.
He began his art studies in Caracas in 1908, which he continued in Europe between 1911 and 1915, where he was particularly enthusiastic about the work of Goya and Velázquez. Upon returning to Venezuela, he joined the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, a group inspired by impressionist aesthetics, which opposed the strict teachings given by the Academia de Bellas Artes de Caracas, thus renewing the national art. In his artistic training he was also influenced by European painters who lived in Venezuela, such as Nicolás Ferdinandov and Samys Mûtzner, and the Franco-Venezuelan Emilio Boggio.
By 1920 Reverón decides to make a radical change in his life and goes to live in La Guaira, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, with his beloved Juanita, life partner and model. There, away from the madding crowd, Reverón built -with stone, palm, mud, and wood- his Castillete, his home-workshop, where he produces his most original work, painting, and rag dolls, for which he is best known, and his other expressions, advanced for that time: object art, assemblages, happening, performance, and interventions. However, Reverón is known as "the painter of light", to which we can add the poet, the philosopher, the scientist, and the eternal lover of the light of the tropics, a space where the light affects with greater violence. Reverón configures his theory and practice of light, which he systematizes and internalizes.
It can be said that Reverón achieved what other artists -impressionists- were looking for without being completely successful, thanks to his sensibility and constant research. Light was always present in Reverón's canvases, but we appreciate his triumph in his last two stages: white and sepia, as the art critic Alfredo Boulton defined them. The real world, human beings, objects, and landscapes are absorbed, diluted, annihilated by his beloved, violent and beautifying tropical light.
In order to publicize the contributions of Armando Reverón, beyond his geography, in 2007 the MOMA presented a retrospective of his work in its spaces, organized by the art curator John Elderfield, with Reverón being the fourth Latin American artist exhibited in that New York Museum, to whose art collection it also belongs.
Written by José Gregorio Noroño.