Lihie Talmor: The Signs of Time

The art of printmaking is undoubtedly becoming an increasingly self sufficient and autonomous discipline, within which an artist may be able to fully express himself without having to rely on the so called major forms of art, namely painting and sculpture.

However, for most of our better artist working in graphic arts, it seems evident that dedication to printmaking derives from a thorough dedication to the art of creation, from a need and a tendency that often seek expression through the completion of stages and experiences at different levels of development and, by the use of more than one technique. Thus, graphic art may be perceived as an extension of the art of painting or drawing, or simply be associated with related disciplines.

At any rate, regardless of the qualities of various techniques, formal differences in the case of an artist creating through different forms of art are merely those resulting from the conditions inherent to the materials.

I say all this, referring to Lihie Talmor, an excellent graphic artist, who has completed all levels of apprenticeship and training in Caracas, and who has been identified with the current movement of graphic artists who, through CEGRA and TAGA, are struggling to set a new trend.

Her identification with our movement did not occur by chance nor without reason. Perhaps, the tradition of plastic arts in Israel (the country where Lihie started her artistic career and where she obtained her degree as an architect before moving to Caracas in 1979) shares many common features with ours. The shapes, the colors, the conceptions derived from following the international tendencies of art, but also a landscape, a topography which gives rise in both countries to similar concerns and motives.

Painting and etching are not mutually exclusive in the case of Lihie Talmor. As can be appreciated in this exhibition, they rather complement each other in such a way that even though the former chronologically precedes the latter, etching has given a new direction to her work in a consistent process of evolution dating back to her first painting; an evolution following the same drive, discipline, sensory perception of the view which could be associated to the work of same Venezuelan artists like Humberto Jaime Sánchez, who have expressed themselves by taking as their point of reference the perception of landscape through the intellect and the unconscious feeling.

A student of Walter Margulis, Lihie Talmor has developed a form of painting that mirrors facets, organic shapes and narrative-free.  A work of an architectural spirit emerging from the subject matter as a metaphore of imaginary constructions originating in nature as well as in inner reality.

The metaphorical presence of the transformed landscape is, I feel, what gives a thematic unity to her work in her shift from painting to etching. But this step also enhances the search for conscious expression like the one provided by the demanding discipline that etching is, which she develops with great dedication.

Lihie Talmor carries out by herself all the different stages of the etching process - from creating her images on the metal plate to inking and printing. This has enabled her to unravel all of the different potentials of this noble craft and to actualize all the possible as well as the non-predictable effects inherent in it.

Very few works of the new generation seem to demand from the critics and the public a greater attention to the abstract language expressed in the signs of memory and the senses such as the work of Lihie Talmor whom we recognize as a highly talented graphic artist.

 Juan Calzadilla
Presentation text from the catalog of the exhibition
"Lihie Talmor: Drawings and Paintings"
Félix Gallery, Caracas
March, 1987