Francisco Narváez in his studio, San Martín, c. 1972 | Photo Alfredo Boulton


May 14, 2021May 14, 2021 12:00 am05/05/21


FRANCISCO NARVÁEZ | Frieze New York 2021
May 5-14, 2021.

Throughout the past century the work of Francisco Narváez (1905-1982) encompassed several styles of painting and sculpture. He embraced wood, stone and bronze with the same great skill as he did oil and ink. At the beginning of his career he executed very influential pieces in which the physical features and daily activities of the indigenous peoples of Venezuela predominated. Women selling and transporting food, harvesting the land or washing clothes on the banks of rivers were always present in his artistic effort.

However, it is evident that there was a need in Narváez to take his plastic creation beyond that descriptive representation of life towards a discourse that extolled universal ideas of spiritual and intellectual growth. Culture and progress through education and science were taking center stage in his mind. With time Narváez’s work lost the most specific features and only insinuated and exaggerated anatomical characteristics of his figures.

On this occasion Ascaso Gallery mainly presents a transitive stage in the craft of Francisco Narváez; one in which his figurative statement metamorphosizes towards new, sometimes dreamlike forms that invite the observer to witness semi-abstract spaces that exist far from natural lines and classical organization of its elements. Over 30 pieces from 1929 to 1972 that include sketches for monument hallmarks and literacy campaigns to diverse techniques in sculpture that give us an inlet to the vast creativity of one the most innovating artists of Latin American painted and carved arts.

Lucas González, Francisco Narváez Foundation, Records and Information Management