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.
Poet Elkin Restrepo wrote the introduction to the book that compiles a wide selection of works on paper by José Antonio Suárez, works produced until 1999. It begins by recalling the impact of the works that Suárez exhibited in Medellín after returning to the country from Switzerland, where he had studied. These small drawings in notebooks and on loose pieces of paper were created in the context of a Colombian art scene that placed little value on drawing, privileging grandiloquent Neo-Expressionist works instead. Indeed, these works entailed a revalorization of drawing and more intimate forms of expression. Restrepo asserts that, during the period Suárez was living in Geneva, he “[…] would lavishly spend hour after hour, whole days, on an activity that, compared to others, was a sort of residual curiosity.” In poetic tone, the author discusses the virtues of Suárez’s painstaking and beautiful work: the freedom to draw whatever he fancies and to be guided by curiosity. He also addresses the fragility of the resources that Suárez employs as he rigorously heeds the Latin mandate Nulla dies sine linea (no day without a line, written or drawn).
This is one of the few comprehensive studies of the vast and painstaking work of José Antonio Suárez (b. 1955). A draftsman, illustrator, and printmaker, Suárez studied biology for three years before receiving a diploma and master’s degree from the École Superieure des Arts Visuelles in Geneva, Switzerland (1978-1984). At the height of Conceptualism, Suárez’s studies were focused on printmaking and drawing.
Since Suárez’s return to Colombia, his work has been featured in a number of solo and group exhibitions at major international venues like the biennials of Cuenca (Ecuador), Havana, Puerto Rico, and São Paulo. Suárez’s work is like a visual diary that combines a number of graphic techniques with images from an array of sources, such as everyday experiences on the street and elsewhere. Some of his images are interpretations of words or popular sayings. Thanks to a remarkable sensibility and a childlike sense of curiosity, as well as a tireless passion for drawing, Suárez has created a body of work like no other on the Colombian art scene.