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Jose Paez del Nogal

Jose Paez del Nogal

Jose Paez del Nogal (Venezuela, 1951) belongs to the generation of Venezuelan artists who struggled between the shadow of the great masters of modernism and the urgency of a rupture.  This led them to focus on explorations that were as unruly and multiple in their techniques and forms of expression as they were solitary, independently of the moments of convergence. Gabino Matos summarized Paez del Nogal’s contribution through a revealing phrase: “He has rewritten the grammar of abstraction.” Rewriting, however, does not equate to the originality of a new point of departure. On the contrary, it equates to a palimpsest art nourished by a myriad of references to preceding works, without ceasing to be profoundly personal. His abstract compositions contain his own drive in a way that draws local references from Venezuelan art to universal art history as well as Eastern and Western traditions.

As his contemporary, the artist Eugenio Espinoza very lucidly states, Paez del Nogal’s oeuvre is marked by that furious freedom with which he articulates “gestural calligraphy with unreasonable displacements of color.” Matos endorses this vision: “A nervous and tormented graphic drawn as an expression of interior upheaval, contrasts with the solemnity of the serene levels of intense color.”

In the process of constructing his pieces, executed at a single go, without contemplating the notion of any possible amendment, without pause, without going back, in a state of pure concentration originating as a ceremony of intervention in the blank space of the canvas, forms and strokes contain the notion of time in the marking-out and superposition between lines, color planes and areas of transparency. Paez del Nogal shares with some lyrical abstract artists this method of painting in an uninterrupted session that embodies a unique moment of physical and artistic tension.


The reference to the presence of Japanese calligraphy in his work is also unavoidable. “The paintbrush,” he explains, “has a decisive influence.” There is a relationship between the ink- holding capacity and the forms of the brush and the physical and mental training that allows the execution of the drawing and of gestural painting as spontaneous actions. Only the highest level of concentration allows the communion between the artist, the medium, the substratum and the finished work. 

It is also impossible to omit mentioning his relation with that trend of European abstract tradition that absorbed the relation between graphic signs and Japanese linguistics.  However, while Paez himself in turn evokes as a key figure in his formative process his predecessor Hans Hartung and his way of unifying the lines through the power of gesture, it is impossible not to recall the dripping in Jackson Pollock, fluttering in the air before reaching the canvas, or Franz Kline’s strong black on white brush stroke. It is precisely in this convergence that the most personal essence of his creation emerges, his way of addressing the infinite interplay of forms.


Paez del Nogal’s oeuvre possesses a space-structuring strength and a vital energy originating in the way in which he fuses not only the legacy of Eastern and Western art history, but also the tension of opposing forces: Such is the case of the conjunction between the visceral quality that the works distill, born of a relinquishment to randomness, and the harmony of an orderly state of concentration; or with the way in which the violence of certain brushstrokes applied directly on the surface of the canvas fuses with the lightness of ink, which sometimes seems to almost float on the canvas, or with acrylics that he barely sprinkles from the air. Likewise, the areas of solid blacks intersect with forms that are translucent; and the nervousness of calligraphic traces holds a dialogue with immutable color fields, predominantly composed of primary colors, although some canvases allow variations of blots of grey, orange or violet. Spontaneity and great technical skill are expressions of an art that rewrites the truth of his universe through infinite references.

Adriana Herrera Tellez, Ph.D.

EDUCATION
1972 – BA in Drawing and Fine Arts. Cristobal Rojas Visual Arts School. Caracas, Venezuela.
1974 – Specialization in Drawing Techniques. “Ettore Rolli” School. Rome, Italy.
1979 – Specialization in Print Restoration. “Alfonso Gallo” Institute of Pathology of Books. Rome, Italy.

SELECTED INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITIONS
2015 – “Three Elements”. Canale Diaz Art Center. Miami, USA.
2008 – “Trazos” (Strokes). Prints and Drawing Council. Valencia, Venezuela.
2004 – “La selva de cristal (The cristal jungle)”. “Braulio Salazar” University Gallery. University of Carabobo. Valencia, Venezuela.
2002 – “Obra Reciente (Recent works)”. “Eladio Aleman Sucre” Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
2001 – “Untitled”. Karell Loman Gallery. Ede, Netherlands.
2001 – “El Gesto, el color y la línea (Gesture, color and line)”. Industrial Bank of Venezuela Foundation. Caracas, Venezuela.
1999 – “Untitled”. Shell Foundation. Caracas, Venezuela.
1997 – “El Gesto, el color y la línea (Gesture, color and line)”. “Arturo Michelena” Museum Foundation. Caracas, Venezuela.
1996 – “Untitled”. University Art Gallery. Central University of Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela.
1992 – “Untitled”. Astrid Paredes Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
1991 – “Trazos (Strokes)”. Lozano & Lozada Gallery, Valencia, Venezuela.
1990 – “Trazos y Trama (Strokes and Texture)”. Lozano & Lozada Gallery. Valencia, Venezuela.
1989 – “Campo de Color (Field of color)”. Artis Nativa Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
1988 – “Rayagrafía Tropical (Tropical Lineography)”. “La Rinconada” Art Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
1983 – “Rayagrafía (Lineography)”. Graphic CB-2. Caracas, Venezuela.
1983 – “En Trazos y Trama (Within strokes and texture)”. “Cruz del Sur” Bookstore. Caracas, Venezuela.
1969 – “Untitled”. Culture House. Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela.
1968 – “Untitled”. American-Venezuelan Center. Caracas, Venezuela.

SELECTED COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS
2015 – “Consequences”. Canale Diaz Art Center. Miami, USA.
2014 – 67th “Arturo Michelena” Biennial. “Braulio Salazar” University Gallery. University of Carabobo. Valencia, Venezuela.
2011 – “Regiones Oníricas (Dream Regions)”. “Arturo Michelena” Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
2010 – “Principios y Fundamentos del Arte Abstracto (Principles and Fundamentals of Abstract Art)”. “Francisco Narváez” Contemporary Art Museum. Porlamar, Venezuela.
2010 – “De lo simbólico a lo concreto (From the symbolic to the concrete)”. “Quinta Isabela” City Museum. Valencia, Venezuela.
2009 – “Tendencias sobre papel” (Trends on paper). Galería Espacio Chroma. Valencia, Venezuela.
2008 – 64th “Arturo Michelena” Biennial. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
2007 – “Works from a collection”. “Eladio Aleman Sucre” Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
2004 – “Venezuelan Art of the 20th Century”. “Alejandro Otero” Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
2004 – 62nd “Arturo Michelena” Biennial. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
2004 – Access Gallery. Oranjestad, Aruba.
2003 – “Venezuela Naturaleza Abierta (Venezuela: Open Nature)”. National Art Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
2003 – “17 artistas, un viaje, un camino (17 artists, one journey, one way)”. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
2001 – 59th “Arturo Michelena” Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
2001 – V National Fine Arts Biennial. Modern Art Municipal Gallery. Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.
2001 – 26th National Fine Arts Show. “Mario Abreu” Modern Art Museum. Maracay, Venezuela.
1999 – “International Contemporary Art Biennial. Florence, Italy.
1999 – “Venezuelan Art in the new millennium. The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art. Miami, USA.
1995 – 53rd “Arturo Michelena” Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1991 – I Latinamerican Art Biennial. Bogota, Colombia.
1990 – XV National Aragua Fine Arts Show. Maracay, Venezuela.
1989 – 47th “Arturo Michelena” Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1988 – 46th “Arturo Michelena” Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1987 – Today’s Abstract Art. Venezuelan Art Center. New York, USA.
1987 – Today’s Abstract Art. “Jesus Soto” Modern Art Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
1986 – III Drawing Biennial. “La Rinconada” Art Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
1986 – 44th “Arturo Michelena” Visual Arts Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1986 – XI Aragua Fine Arts Exhibition. Maracay Art Museum. Maracay, Venezuela.
1986 – II Art Biennial. Havana, Cuba.
1985 – “Nuevas Tendencias (New trends)”. Venezuelan Cultural Center. Bogota, Colombia.
1983 – “Self-portraits”. National Art Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
1979 – I Poster Exhibition. History Museum of Sanitary Art. Rome, Italy.
1972 – “Graphic Art Exhibition. New Jersey Art Center. New Jersey, USA. 

HONORS & AWARDS
2014 – “Arturo Michelena” Medal. Municipality of Valencia. Valencia, Venezuela.
2008 – “Braulio Salazar” Award – 64th “Arturo Michelena” Biennial. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1998 – Honorific Mention - V Centennial of Venezuela’s discovery. Ciudad Bolivar Museum. Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.
1990 – Drawing Prize – First Place - XV National Aragua Fine Arts Show. Maracay, Venezuela.
1989 – “Arturo Michelena” Award – 47th “Arturo Michelena” Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1988 – “Luis Eduardo Chavez” – First Place – 46th “Arturo Michelena” Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1986 – Drawing Award - Center for Contemporary Art. III Drawing Biennial. “La Rinconada” Art Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
1986 – “Armando Reveron” Drawing Award – 44th “Arturo Michelena” Visual Arts Exhibition. Valencia Cultural Center. Valencia, Venezuela.
1986 – Painting Award - XI Aragua Fine Arts Exhibition. Maracay Art Museum. Maracay, Venezuela. 

SELECTED PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
National Art Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela.
“Alejandro Otero” Visual Arts Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
“Arturo Michelena” Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
“Mario Abreu” Art Museum. Maracay, Venezuela.
“Francisco Narvaez” Contemporary Art Museum. Porlamar, Venezuela.
Bolivar City Museum. Orinoco Mail House. Bolivar City, Venezuela.
Bank of Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela.
Mercantil Bank. Caracas, Venezuela.
Commerce Bank. Miami, USA.
Provincial Bank. Caracas, Venezuela.
Foundation of the Industrial Bank of Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela.
National Culture Council (CONAC). Caracas, Venezuela.
Federal District Culture and Arts Foundation (FUNDARTE). Caracas, Venezuela.
Valencia Athaeneum. Valencia, Venezuela.
Simon Bolivar University Museum. Caracas, Venezuela.
National Open University. Caracas, Venezuela.
Department of Foreign Affairs. Venezuelan Consulate. New York City, USA.
Central University of Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela.
University of Carabobo. Valencia, Venezuela.

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Jose Paez del Nogal

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