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    Luis B. Ramos / por Werner Suhr; traducido al inglés por James Caswell; traducido al español por E. Uribe White
    Revista Pan (Bogotá, Colombia). -- May. 1938
    p. 125-126
    Journal article – Essays

    Suhr, Werner. "Luis B. Ramos." Translated to the Spanish by E. Uribe White. Revista Pan (Bogotá), May 1938, 125-126.


Pan magazine (1935–40) published a Spanish translation of a text written by Werner Suhr, who was the director of Gebrauchsgraphik, which introduced the Colombian photographer Luis B. Ramos to the German public. Suhr describes the Colombian landscape shown in the photographs as a “remote and unusual world.” He speaks highly of the “excellence” of the photographs, not just because of the subject matter and the landscapes, but because they reflect the environment they inhabit. He explains that Ramos captures Colombian cultural life and reality from a personal perspective that allows him to “reveal its true essence in pictorial form.”


Published in this issue of Pan magazine (1935–40) is the Spanish translation of the text by Werner Suhr, and a brief introduction to the German publication by Pan editor Enrique Uribe White (see: "Luis B. Ramos juzgado por el ‘Gebrauchsgraphik’" [Luis B. Ramos Judged by the “Gebrauchsgraphik”], doc. no. 1089168). This is an exceptionally important text because it documents the recognition of a local photographer and acknowledgment of representative work from Colombia in the 1930s by an international publication. 

Luis B. Ramos (1899–1955) studied painting in Bogotá, then traveled on a grant to Paris in 1928 where he became a professional photographer. He worked for French magazines, although that part of his life and work has not yet been the subject of historical research. When he returned to Colombia in 1932 he started publishing photography on subjects of his own choosing.

Though he spent years in Europe, Ramos never forgot his peasant roots. That was what made his art so original, as Werner Suhr mentions in this article. Ramos wanted to take photographs of a particular social class, his social class. He knew that “his people” faced his camera with calm, dignity, and integrity whether they were photographed at work, in a religious setting, or at a community fair. His work is the most authentic and refined product of that period available.   


Álvaro Medina
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia