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In this article, which consists of notes on the Séptimo Salón de Artistas Colombianos held in 1946, critic Luis Vidales Jaramillo addresses six issues. First, he cites the aesthetic doctrine of Italian professor Matteo Marangoni, which he then uses to analyze the painting El sueño [The Dream] by Marco Ospina, included in the show. He then presents historical arguments that defend deformation in art, attacking the stance on this issue put forth by Colombian newspaper El Siglo. Third, he explains his criteria as a member of the selection jury and praises the government’s attitude towards Colombian art. Fourth, he discusses how academic art is rejected by most of the works in the exhibition. Fifth, he mentions some of the most outstanding works in the show, especially those by young or unknown artists. Finally, he praises the fact that the show has been exhibited in several provincial capitals and urges the government to continue to support art.
The critical discourse contained in this article by Colombian critic and poet Luis Vidales Jaramillo (1900–90) is based on research, reflection, and analysis; Vidales Jaramillo discusses the individual works featured in the Séptimo Salón de Artistas Colombianos (1946) as well as the exhibition as a whole. Employing Matteo Marangoni’s aesthetic framework, Vidales Jaramillo analyzes the relationship between technique and content in an oil painting by Marco Ospina Restepo, an approach that demonstrates the theoretical underpinnings of Vidales Jaramillo’s assessments.
The author also traces the concepts of disproportion and deformity in the history of art over the centuries, concluding that there is no rule demanding accuracy in representation. On the basis of this reasoning, he accuses the conservative Colombian newspaper El Siglo of a politically motivated aesthetic bias. That newspaper urged viewers to react against geometric and non-figurative art and to uphold traditional values. Vidales Jaramillo’s approach to the problem attests to the historical dimension of his method.
By means of this approach, the critic provides an overview of Colombian art of the time. In his view, there is a tendency to turn away from academicism and to embrace an artistic language in line with reality. Vidales Jaramillo states that these were the considerations that guided his choices as a member of the selection jury. Insofar as it repeatedly praises the event and the skill with which the government organized it, this article has a definite political tone.