Clara Diament Sujo

A Life Devoted to Art

Clara Sujo in her Garden at Quinta Jacaranda, Caracas, 1972. Unknown photographer. Gelatin silver print, 9 x 7 in. The Getty Research Institute

The following is a personal homage to a long-standing friend, colleague and an intellectual who has contributed immeasurably to the art worlds of several cities on two continents and whose impact will be lasting in the realm of promoting and analyzing art of a wide variety of tendencies.

Clara was among the first to refer to the ‘Art of the Americas’, preferring this over the commonly used term ‘Latin American Art’ since this erased the usual North-South divide, a distinction she felt had for too long marginalized the art of the continent.

Clara’s sensibility has been unique among art dealers who specialize in the art of their own region. Both in her original gallery in Caracas, Estudio Actual (which was, in fact, much more than a gallery, being simultaneously also a bookstore and literary-artistic salon), as well as in the New York venue, she assiduously avoided organizing a roster of shows of only Latin American artists. Clara was among the first to refer to the ‘Art of the Americas’, preferring this over the commonly used term ‘Latin American Art’ since this erased the usual North-South divide, a distinction she felt had for too long marginalized the art of the continent. The list of the dozens of shows she did in Caracas is fascinating as it includes not only the best known names from the late 1960s to the early 1980s from Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Nicaragua, and many other nations, but also artists such as Henry Moore, Piet Mondrian and Joseph Albers.