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    Mejía Otálvaro, Dora
    Obra reciente / Por Dora Mejía
    La obra de Marta Elena Vélez. -- Medellín, Colombia : Fondo Editorial Universidad EAFIT, 2008
    p. 109- 116 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Mejía Otálvaro, Dora. “Obra reciente.” In La obra de Marta Elena Vélez, 109–116. Exh. cat., Medellín, Colombia: Fondo Editorial Universidad EAFIT, 2008.

This book by Dora Mejía addresses work by painter Marta Elena Vélez produced from the artist’s early career in the 1960s to 2008. Mejía analyzes what she calls “the return to classic painting” that occurred after Vélez’s vibrant and expressively colorful work from the seventies and eighties, work that combined the intimate with both open and closed spaces. Central to that production are sensuality and a dreamlike reworking of the landscape. Though not devoid of social implications, the work discussed in this text is introspective rather than focused on subjective concerns. In it, materials and supports are particularly important in relation to a spirit close to mysticism and asceticism. This shift seems to be the result of the detachment and release of an artist who, as she stated in an interview, is convinced that “solitude is what lies at the beginning and at the end of art.”


This document provides an analytical vision of an important stage in the production of Antioquia-based painter Marta Elena Vélez (b. 1939), one of the artists that founded the Art School of the Universidad Nacional (Medellín campus) and the Museo de Arte Moderno of Medellín. Vélez studied with Rafael Sáenz (1910-1998) and with painter and printmaker Aníbal Gil (b. 1932) at the Instituto de Bellas Artes in Medellín. She eventually left that institution because it was geared to individuals with few resources and the board of directors did not believe she qualified. Like many young creators of her generation, Vélez took an interest in film and complemented her education independently by reading. She first exhibited her work in the exhibition Arte Nuevo para Medellín (1967), which consisted of early works that broke with academic conventions. She was awarded a mention at the III Bienal de Arte de Medellín for a collaborative work produced with Colombian artist Juan Camilo Uribe (1945-2005).  


An architect and visual artist, Dora Mejía has a master’s degree in aesthetics from the Universidad Nacional of Colombia, one of the institutions where she has worked as an associate professor.

Santiago Londoño Vélez
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Dora Mejía, Medellin, Colombia.
Reproduced with permission of Luz Imelda Ramirez González, Fondo Editorial Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia