Lía Bermúdez

LíA BERMÚDEZ

(Caracas, Venezuela, 1930)

Lía Bermúdez is among the most relevant Venezuelan sculptors. Her large-scale outdoor and architectural interventions are part of many private and public buildings in her native Caracas and in the city of Maracaibo. She started out as a figurative painter, but her abstract and constructivist influences soon took over and she began making three-dimensional works using recycled materials such as wire, nails, and metal sheets. Progressively, she shifted to painting on stretched canvases and combining them with iron welded frames to create sculptural interventions in architecture, but as these materials would perish over time, she continued to work mainly with painted and welded iron and fiberglass. Most of her work departs from the idea of the construction of spatial and geometric planes in space through successions of lines. These lines resemble sheets bent into shapes that evoke natural yet abstract forms like bat-wings, shells and butterflies, as well as abstract structures, which are placed rhythmically to create the sensation of a wing’s movement in stop motion. In other less well-known works, such as the Germinated Stones series, Bermúdez creates small scale or public space interventions using rocks that she manipulates to make them into abstract volumes. Throughout her whole body of work, her main interest has been the study of relationships that are established between the juxtaposition of volumes, planes and lines in space. 

Born Carmen Rosalía González, Lía Bermúdez studied at the School of Applied Arts in Caracas in her youth and in 1947 moved to Maracaibo, where she studied at the School of Visual Arts in Árraga. She was a disciple of sculptors Julio Narváez, Francisco Maragall and Jesús Soto, and worked with the latter of these artists as an apprentice at his studio. She began exhibiting her work in 1957 and has had major exhibitions at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Maracaibo, the Museum of Latin American Art of the OAS in Washington, DC, the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California (Molaa), among others.  Bermúdez has worked as a lecturer in Design in Architecture and Communication Graphics at the Universidad del Zulia since the early 60s.The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas held a major retrospective of her work in 1992 to celebrate her 45 years of artistic trajectory. Major permanent installations are situated at the Torre Corp Group Building and at the Polar Foundation, both in Caracas, and in Maracaibo, at the Banco Central de Venezuela and the Banco de Fomento Regional del Zulia, among many others. She has been the recipient of many honors and awards and the Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lía Bermúdez was named after her in recognition of her work in promoting education and culture as well as her artistic legacy in her adoptive city.