Embassy of Venezuela, Bolívar Hall, London

20 February 1996 - 5 March 1996

A Selection of Works from the University of Essex at Bolívar Hall was one of the first exhibitions of the Collection's holdings in London. This show was the occasion of the donation of an important work by the internationally renowned Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez.

In 1980, the Government of Venezuela acquired four Georgian houses in Grafton Way, Fitzrovia. Number 58 had belonged to Francisco de Miranda and was considered part of Venezuelan history. Miranda’s house was restored to its original condition with the advice of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and furnished with period pieces. The backs of the other three were converted to a design by the British architect, Boyd Auger, to create a multi-media cultural centre, a unique space with 130 retractable seats, in which the Embassy could offer a programme of exhibitions, music, film, theatre and literary and academic events. The need for a venue in London of this size and quality has proved so great that Bolívar Hall has come to be focus for Ibero-American culture more generally. We take pleasure in this and also in attracting and collaborating with institutions in Britain.

This exhibition is an instance of this collaboration. It shows a selection of works by artists who were born or lived in their productive periods in Latin America, and comes from a collection at the University of Essex. We are delighted to be the first to show items from this collection to the public in London. The selection is small, but in its quality and representativeness, clearly reveals the value and importance of the Collection as a whole.

On what we trust will be a forgivably patriotic note, we would like to end by saying that the latest acquisition shown is by one of Venezuela’s own foremost artists, Carlos Cruz-Diez, who has recently donated it to the Essex collection.

His Excellency Roy Chaderton Matos, Ambassador of Venezuela

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