Nov 28, 2021

Ascaso Gallery

Ascaso Gallery

1325 NE 1st Ave
Miami FL. 33132
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Narváez The Sculptor: Francisco Narváez

December 2 – January 29, 2022

The works of Francisco Narvaez are part of our collective memory. Thinking of Venezuela is to wander around El Silencio fountain, for El Atleta, for the Parque Carabobo fountain, for the façades of the Museo de Bellas Artes, or the Museo de Ciencias, for all the things that are dear to us and remain in our memories. Many of our young people, unfortunately, do not know who the artist was, but his work is there, in his visual walks, in the memory of a country anchored in our collective memory.

Narvaez was born in Porlamar, Venezuela, in 1905; he was the fifth son of eleven siblings; his parents were Jose Lorenzo Narvaez and Vicenta Rivera. Don José Lorenzo, a multifaceted and creative man, sowed the seed of creativity in his son. “My father did not fit in with his fantasies of cabinetmaker, bricklayer, master builder, and self-taught architect.”From an early age, Francis was led to the artistic activity, he traced, carved, made replicas of the furniture and the saints restored by his father.

In 1920 he obtained his first professional assignment, a San Rafael for the Church of Carupano, and, in 1922, his father authorized him to travel to Caracas to pursue his studies as an artist. He studied at the atelier of Marcos Castillo, at of the Angel Cabre y Magriña and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Caracas, where he was introduced to the painters and intellectuals of the time.

In 1928 he presented his first solo exhibition at the Club Venezuela. With the money raised from the sale of the works and the support of Monsignor Sosa, and the Ministers Centeno Grau and Arcaya, he studied in Paris on a scholarship. Once there, he enrolled at the Académie Julian, where Tito Salas, Cristóbal Rojas and Arturo Michelena had also studied. It was in Paris where, unable to work in wood, he turned to stone carving. “In Paris, I didn’t have wood, so I carved a lot in stone (…), when there were demolitions I purchased chunks of stone, I would take them to the workshop and carve them.”2

His first attempts at volumetric sculptures and painting in plain colours, linked to the thematic of American miscegenation and Creole reality, can be traced back to that first trip to Paris. During his stay in the French city, Arturo Uslar Pietri, Alfredo Boulton, and Finita Vallenilla supported the artist both financially and logistically, and in February of 1930, the trio of friends arranged another exhibition for him at the Club Venezuela. Narvaez describes his exhibition as follows: “(…) in it I feel that the sculptural work is more my own, done with more assurance, a response to my pursuit of large planes, stylisation and synthesis.”3 By then, as Boulton himself noted in his book about the artist, Narvaez departed from most of the artistic traditions that prevailed by that time in Venezuela.

About Ascaso Gallery

Ascaso Gallery reaches Florida to offer the people of Miami and its surroundings a new alternative for cultural and artistic interaction, fostering encounters, introducing proposals of various tendencies, and projecting many different manifestations of Latin American art in their salons. Dedicated to universal art of all ages, Ascaso Gallery emphasizes the exhibition and trading of works by Venezuelan artists, consecrated maestros as well as new talents. Its branch in Caracas and its headquarters in Valencia possess as their most precious assets a lengthy trajectory and well-earned prestige in the art market, offering the Venezuelan public an important portfolio of artists and works, characterized by the ample variety of their exhibitions and unmatched quality of their services. Based in Miami and Caracas, Venezuela, with over 30 years of experience, the Gallery has focused on modern and contemporary art, representing and promoting Latin American and International consecrated masters and mid-career artists.
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