The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This article by Carmen María Jaramillo, the twentieth-century Colombian art historian, covers the main aspects of a lifetime of work by Sergio Trujillo Magnenat. This critical meditation serves as a referential framework for the exhibition Sergio Trujillo Magnenat: exposición antológica, held at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá in 1994. Trujillo Magnenat is presented as a “complete artist,” and an innovator as well. His personal choice was to adopt those paradigms that interested him, as found in national art (of the 1930s) and international art. To Jaramillo, it is impossible to classify Trujillo under any particular ism; she emphasizes his support for the applied arts and his interest in tying art to daily life.
The prolific figurative work of Sergio Trujillo Magnenat (1911–99) reflects his handling of an artistic language that covered a broad spectrum, from genres such as portraiture and landscapes to illustration, design, and murals. His independence in the course of conceiving and executing his work made him an innovative artist, according to the Colombian curator, docent, and art historian, Carmen María Jaramillo (b. 1958). This can be seen clearly in mural works he executed as early as 1942. These Trujillo murals were undoubtedly related to those of the contemporary nationalists Luis Alberto Acuña (1904–94) and Pedro Nel Gómez (1899–1984), based on their conviction that art must be for the community. They are also an example of the artist’s capacity to explore and use new techniques and materials (such as orthosilicates) in keeping with the modern classifications and customs of urban architecture.
Trujillo Magnenat had an interest in teaching art and bringing it to the community. In addition to the distinction of creating one of the largest bodies of mural artwork of the twentieth century, he also used his creativity to illustrate publications from literature to science and history. He also created lithographs that were widely distributed in the public schools. Beyond a social, Latin American, and nationalist art (in vogue in his generation), his work is based on a close relationship between art and daily life, between creation and craftwork, between the language of art and the needs of modern urban life.
This article was published in the catalogue for the retrospective exhibition, which includes artwork, a chronology of his life and work, and a list of his works.