Harry Abend and the artist’s imprint through space

Harry Abend and the artist’s imprint through space

On Monday, the Venezuelan architect and sculptor of Polish descent, Harry Abend, was known to have died at the age of 83, who was receiving the oil country during his childhood in his lap after the escape of World War II.

In 1948 Abend settled in Venezuela at the age of eleven, coming from his native Poland. He resides and studies in high school and at the same time directs his training towards architecture and as an undeniable judge, in his case, he explores the paths of sculpture, in principle at the hands of Miguel Arroyo.

One of the first spaces for participation was the third art exhibition of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) while he was studying that degree.

However, what should be noted is that his attendance at the workshop was facilitated in 1964 by the famous English sculptor Kenneth Armitage, who was dictated by the Cristobal Rojas School of Fine Arts, and the resulting works were exhibited in the Kenneth Armitage LLC exhibition. Eight Venezuelan sculptors from the Museum of Fine Arts, 1964.

Models, ideas and creativity

Abend, as a dedicated sculptor and recipient of the National Prize for Culture in 1963, suggests a unique spatial intervention and a strong presence with his objects.

Initially, he allowed himself to be abstracted by preserved organic forms with pure pieces of cast bronze with a polished surface and wooden carvings. Subsequently, this manipulation inevitably led to interest in the texture and appearance of the surfaces of the material; He departs from the polished surface and works on bronze engravings of rough geometrical sizes and is influenced by informal tendency, and envisions works in which the use of the material proves its necessity and justification.

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Abend solidifies the language and provides it with the necessary forces for its growth and improvement. Thus, he communicates with geometric constructivism and makes proposed inscriptions for architectural integration. The irreparable conclusion he was destined for.

During this period wood becomes its most consumed component. It is used to establish various structural engineering groups, made of thick strips, of such structural stiffness that contrast with their specific topography.

Others were created from groups of small-sized pieces oriented in a strict, urban arrangement.

In the 1980s, his work acquired a natural character. She suggests the qualities of wood, we find anthropomorphic and “animal”. Later, he harmonized the large duo between wood and its intervention through sculpture, which would become the ideology of his creative work, thus achieving a dimensional expansion, which reaches totemic scales of oval and paradigmatic sizes. Tapestry set on poles or girders, dazzling rocky look.

He presents sculptural groups made from tree trunks that have been cut down and disposed of by urban development, he cuts them into a cylindrical shape, and the bark interferes deeply or superficially.

The so-called “Negative Sculptures” are a type of shavings box containing the remains of his inscriptions, giving his work a conceptual tone.

The rigidity of the materials he used allowed him to form a legacy, a vision of space that interfered with presence and emptiness in his writings. The dimensions of her pieces raised her bone.

Art is universal, but the passion imprinted in each work has a local color. In a Harry Abend production, tricolor flies welcomed and celebrated the day.

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“Art is universal, but the passion imprinted in every work has a local color. In Harry Abend’s production, tricolor flies welcomed and celebrated today.”
Nelson Galves
Academic and technical photographer

After the many accolades and awards he deserved, today we dedicate our pride to sharing with people who also saw fit to win and popularize through his great artistic legacy.

The man, the human

Harry Abend was born in Poland in 1937 and arrived in Venezuela in 1948.

During an interview with the digital platform Registro Nacional Voz de los Creadores, published in 2013, Abend recalls: “When World War II ended in the year 45, we found another survivor, a first cousin on my father’s side, who lived in a faraway country. It is called Venezuela. He made sure to send visas to us, described the country as a very beautiful place, with very friendly people, with work, food and no winter. We were very surprised, because we thought he was describing us as paradise. We arrived as immigrants in the year 48, to La Guaira. ” .

They called Venezuela Branch Heaven. People were very kind and very responsive to immigrants, and hospitable, and there was a preamble to two ships that left shortly before the outbreak of World War II, traveling around the Caribbean in search of a place to receive them. They docked in Venezuela, and President General Eleazar Lopez Contreras said: “Welcome them.” Many are still grateful for Venezuela’s hospitality at that time. “

According to the sculptor, in the same interview, sculpture and architecture were teachings that he was able to integrate and the vision of the architectural space helped him in sculpture, “he said.

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After training as an architect, he held his first solo exhibition at the Caracas Museum of Fine Arts in 1962. In 1963 he was awarded the National Sculpture Prize at the 24th Venezuelan Salon de Venezuela.

In the 1960s, he developed his business as a goldsmith and did incorporated work in architecture.

He lived in London, England, between 1976 and 1982, according to information collected by GBG Arts Gallery. In 1990 he won the first prize in the Hall of Sculpture “50 years of the Central Bank of Venezuela” as well as the first prize of the Francisco Narvais National Biennial of Sculpture.

In 2009, he was honored by the Ibero-American Art Gallery in Caracas and has participated in over 100 group exhibitions and 47 solo exhibitions.

According to the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, Abend has received many awards, such as the “Shell Prize for Sculpture in Hall D’Empaire, Maracaibo (1964); Prize of Kleinplastic Gallery, Madurodam, The Hague (1967); The Gold Medal of the State of Bavaria at the International Handicraft Fair, Munich, Germany (1968); Francisco de Miranda Medal of First Class and First Prize in the Francesco Narvise National Biennial of Sculpture (1990); National Prize for Plastic Arts (1998), and in 2019 it was recognized by AICA as a teacher of Venezuelan art.

In Harry Abend’s book, released in September 2019, he recounts the artist’s 344-page career.

Izer Hector

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