Skip navigation

Critics - Landscapes

Washington D.C.

Alicia Viteri
Painter and engraver

A complex work made in thirty-five years of intense activity characterized by the search of her own expression, renewed in multiple phases always as the inner reflex of the artist.

In Alicia Viteri it is worth noting the impact caused by her energy and academic education on her return in 1972 when she brings to Panama her dedication to engraving work. The University of Panama's atelier and Panarte's graphics shop are transformed, because of her initiative, in centers of graphics activities, enriching the Panamanian scenery until then engaged exclusively in painting.

Vivifying as well, for the atmosphere of that time are,in a first phase of her graphics production, her works in which insects scandalized a vast public. Although for some, because it is a door to her inner world, open a vision of art understood as transpositions of humane perceptions in irreverent motifs. Insects "exorcizing" the anxieties, traumas of the artist but by the same token, for the strength of her strokes synthesizing a criticism to "prejudicial society and conventionalism".

In 1977 she becomes involved in a novel motif, the hands, anticipating a phase more somber of her works produced now in Quito. A series of plumelets and engraving works introduces a series of characters, in solemn poses, with furs and hats, always in a satyrical and painful vision of Man, in his social appearance, empty of humane content. Followed by the dramatic series "The mummies" in which modified layers and successively destroyed of a self-portrait result in deformed figures intensively suggestive, in "an inner search of the human truth".

After a brief period in Spain, Alicia Viteri prepares - during three years - "Pictorial Spaces" (1984), her monumental representation of the human farce. Two friezes of human figures - "Funerals" and "Carnavals" - surrounded by paintings and a set of reflecting lights, brightens this installation, pioneer in the Panamanian scenery. In the first, idle characters, "decadents" of the bourgeoisie and, in the second, "vital" figures of Caribbean accents achieving - in a contrast between the rigidity of vertical axes of "Funerals" and the dynamism of curves and colors of "Carnivals" - a faithful and heartbreaking image of the social reality.

In 1991 Alicia Viteri carries the human study to caricatures in a series dedicated to the court of the "Prosperous Prince". Of testimonial value arisen from the crises of freedom lived in Panama, is a gallery of grotesque figures with euphuistic details placing the portrait of a materialistic social world.

After a long pause, her last phase, now in acrylics, is an optimistic view of nature, in splendor of vegetation and of green tonalities.
Today, Alicia Viteri works on digitalized photography and in complex computing processes preparing a book for a next edition which makes us meditate on the surprising means of expression attained by this artist.

Angela de Picardi