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Biography

Alejandro Otero

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

Alejandro Otero was one of the most influential Venezuelan artists of the twentieth century, he gained recognition for re-evaluating the relations between light, space, and perception. Otero studied Painting, Sculpture, Glassworks and Art education at the National School of Arts in Caracas (1939 - 1945). In 1946 he was granted a State´s scholarship that allowed him to relocate to Paris.

Through his “Cafeteras” series, he abandoned Figuration for Geometric Abstraction. The aforementioned led him to join “Los Disidentes”, a group of Venezuelan artists living in France that sought to renovate the art of their country. “Coloritmos” was born in 1955, his quintessential series of modular rectangular paintings, made with 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, expanding beyond the paintings themselves.

Soon, Otero dedicated to research and exploring civic sculptures, a result of his continuous interest in the spatial and social relationships of artworks. After all, for Otero, art represented “a personal drama in which the  modern man might recognize his image.” In that sense, he was a part of the artists that created works for the Central University City of Venezuela. 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 on sculptures in public spaces.