El Atleta (Escultura) Estadio Olimpico
The Athlete (1951) is one of the three monumental sculptures that Francisco Narvaez (1905 - 1982) carved in Cumarebo stone at the request of the architect Carlos Raul Villanueva, for The Central University of Venezuela. This large scale piece is located on the southern access ramp to the University Olympic Stadium. This sculpture outlines: 1) Narvaez' academic studies highlighting the human figure in classical Greek art; 2) his experiences in Paris (1928- 1931) where he knew artworks by Rodin, Bourdelle, Arístides Maillol, Picasso, Brancusi, Henri Laurens, Henry Moore, Jean Arp, Pablo Gargallo; and 3) the Venezuelan identity that chisels his work, with emphasis on miscegenation. At the UCV sports complex, Narvaez shows an athlete of great volume and stylized geometric shapes that states his contained strength. This piece was a turning point where Narvaez, as a Master in figurative art, left for more quasi-abstract researches with which "he consolidated the sculptural modernity in Venezuela", according to Dr. José María Salvador.