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In her review written for Arte en Colombia magazine, the Uruguayan critic Ivonne Pini presents an overview of works by Colombian artists who were producing testimonial art from 1963 through the early 1970s. After referring to certain aspects of Latin American political conditions, Pini discusses the careers and major works of a large group of Colombian artists who worked in the field of political realism. According to Pini, that decision can be interpreted as a form of resistance to North American fashions (from performance art to happenings), and a commitment to more local issues and to speaking out against social conditions closer to home. Within that sort of politically committed art that also respects creative autonomy and aesthetic rigor, Pini sees relevance in the works of Augusto Rendón, Luis Ángel Rengifo, Pedro Alcántara, Diego Arango, Nirma Zárate, Umberto Giangrandi, Carlos Granada, Alfonso Quijano, Clemencia Lucena, and Luis Paz, and she discusses their careers and describes some of their most important work.


Keeping in mind that printing has been one of the least-researched forms of expression within the historiography of Colombian art, this article by the Uruguayan critic Ivonne Pini, published in 1987 in Arte en Colombia magazine—where she worked as an editor for many years—contributed some valuable facts and useful information concerning the role of the graphic arts during the period in question (1963 to the early 1970s).


The critical, antiestablishment nature of the works produced by those artists, their limited commercial success, and the prevailing and subsequent political conditions made that chapter of Colombian art a particularly difficult and sensitive one to research. The following artists should be noted here: Augusto Rendón (b. 1933), Luis Ángel Rengifo (1906–1986), Pedro Alcántara (b. 1942), Diego Arango (b. 1942), Nirma Zárate (1936–1999), Umberto Giangrandi (b. 1943), Carlos Granada (b. 1933), Alfonso Quijano (b. 1924), Clemencia Lucena (1945–1984), and Luis Paz. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pini, who was a professor and researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas de la Universidad Nacional [Aesthetic Research Institute of the National University], organized several research projects into this particular period. In her essay, Pini refers to existing material, such as articles by the critic Álvaro Medina (b. 1942), and to new, unpublished sources that she uses to sketch a brief history of the testimonial form of graphic arts in Colombia at that time.

María Sol Barón Pino
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Ivonne Pini, Bogotá, Colombia