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    Los 20 dibujos de Saturnino Ramírez : la exposición de El Parque
    El Colombiano (Medellín, Colombia). -- Mar. 29, 1974
    Journal article – Biographies

    El Colombiano (Medellín, Colombia). "Los 20 dibujos de Saturnino Ramírez : la exposición de El Parque," March 29, 1974.
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This text, published in the Medellín newspaper El Colombiano, discusses Saturnino Ramírez’s last solo exhibition before leaving for Europe. Entitled Los 20 dibujos de Saturnino Ramírez (1974), the show held at El Parque gallery in Medellín featured works that captured the atmosphere of billiard halls, “a reality known and familiar to many.” The article includes a brief account of the artist’s life, mentions his most important shows in the past year, and the fact that Ramírez was about to travel abroad, the result of a “grant for specialized studies.” The article also contains the words of Colombian writer Manuel Mejía Vallejo, an admirer of Ramírez, who states that the artist’s humility “amounts to confidence and faith in his work and research.” Mejía Vallejo praises Ramírez’s technical skill and authenticity. He criticizes the reigning “facileness” and considers Ramírez an exception insofar as his “work has no sense of condescension or mindless submission; it is serene because it is, because it is present, because it grows deeper and more respectable with each passing day.”


This article provides an account of the last exhibition held by Colombian artist Saturnino Ramírez (1946–2002) before he moved to Paris. It includes words of widely esteemed writer Manuel Mejía Vallejo (1923–1998) that give a sense of the artist’s personality. Ramírez’s trip to Europe was made possible by an award granted by the Instituto Colombiano de Cultura (Colcultura) in the context of the third Bienal de Arte de Coltejer (Medellín) geared to funding advanced studies abroad and by a grant received from the Instituto Colombiano para Estudios en el Exterior (ICETEX) in 1973. 


A resident of Medellín, Ramírez moved to Paris in 1974 where he lived for almost two decades. During those same years, a good many Colombian painters and draftsmen moved to the French capital. While they did not constitute a formal group or movement, they were tied by friendship, an interest in figuration, and in some cases, the proximity of their studios; Ramírez’s studio, for instance, was near the studio of Luis Caballero (1943–1995), and the two men were close friends. Paris continued to attract artists interested in the masterpieces of modern art and in the international avant-garde. The Colombian artists in Paris were less interested in strains of contemporary art (which was centered in the United States by that time) than in Post-Impressionist figuration. Ramírez had a particular predilection for the work of Henri de Toulouse–Lautrec. In the seventies, a number of Paris-based Colombian artists gained recognition, among them Darío Morales (1944–1988), Heriberto Cogollo (b. 1945), Emma Reyes (1943–2003), Francisco Rocca (b. 1946), Gregorio Cuartas (b. 1938), and Antonio Barrera (b. 1948).

Adriana María Ríos Díaz
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Reproduced with permission of El Colombiano, Medellín, Colombia