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This document is a reflexive text in the style of a curriculum vitae, written by Beatriz González in 1973 about her own work over her lifetime. The first paragraph refers to irony as the identifying stamp of her painting, which can be seen as a Colombian idiosyncrasy. In the second and third paragraphs, González refers to the concept of “the cutesy or affected” explicit in art and in society. Starting with that concept, in subsequent paragraphs, she goes on to develop a complete definition of [art] history and her connection to it as an artist who lives in a province. Moreover, the painter states that her work is a precursor to Colombian as well as provincial art; she emphasizes that she is not very well known. Finally, she describes the famous furniture that appears in her painting, which was on exhibition at the time at Exposición Rotatoria, retrospectiva de Beatriz González. The retrospective opened on September 23, 1976, at the Museo de Arte Moderno de la Tertulia in the city of Cali.


The importance of this document lies in the intimate nature of the self-reflection by the Colombian painter Beatriz Gonzalez (b. 1938), on her artwork. This text alludes to what was probably her first retrospective exhibition, which opened on September 23, 1976, in the Cali Museum of Modern Art (MAM). In the article, González affirms her position as a precursor of Colombian art with roots in a local identity, not in the universalism characteristic of international artists. She defines [art] history as she understands it, explaining her own impact on provincial [art] history through an ironic discourse that is reflected in her objects and her paintings.


Her reflection on the furniture refers to the work with the same title. She describes the origin of these paintings, referring to them (in metalinguistic terms) as a representation of a representation. This thinking is similar to her method of creating work based on photographs and reproductions. To González, a representation also reflects the formal system of work rendered with color pigments and brushes, which at the same time, represents the traditional art medium. This text foretells the change of language that will take place with the artist; that is, from a traditional language to Object Art. With the work Los muebles, González begins her well-known exploration of other media, making a radical shift from the canvas to the object.  


As an interesting fact, during that same month of September, in addition to Gonzalez’s retrospective in the city of Cali, Luis Caballero Holguín (1943–95) was in Cali to participate in the graphic portfolio under development at the [same museum] by the Puerto Rican artist Lorenzo Homar (1913–2004) (see “Boletín No. 94” [doc. no. 1093256]).

Adriana María Ríos Díaz
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Beatriz González Aranda, Bogotá, Colombia
Courtesy of Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Calí, Colombia