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Tulio Rabinovich, the current (2009) director of the Fundación Arturo y Rebeca Rabinovich, provides this brief report on the history and importance of the Salón Arturo Rabinovich, an event held annually since 1981 with the support of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Medellín. The salon attempts to advocate for and disseminate art produced by young people and university students as well as contemporary art. The text asserts that a number of the young people who have taken part in the event have gone on to become important figures in the Colombian art scene, mentioning the examples of Nadin Ospina, José Antonio Suárez, Juan Fernando Herrán, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, and others. The first edition of the Salón Arturo Rabinovich was held at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Medellín in 1981. Since then, it has become an important venue for “performance, electronic art, installation, and video art” and other forms of contemporary expression. The text describes the artistic and cultural context in which the salon was founded with the support of artists Bernardo Salcedo and Santiago Cárdenas Arroyo.


This document demonstrates the fact that the Salón Arturo Ravinovich was initially an open response to the lack of venues for young artists in Medellín in the early eighties. The first edition of the salon “caused quite a stir in a city where art was constricted to a limited range of figurative forms of expression and where artists—like Eladio Vélez, Pedro Nel Gómez, and others—were mostly concerned with technique.” The salon jury consisted of Colombian artists Santiago Cárdenas Arroyo (b. 1937) and Álvaro Herazo; Jorge Velásquez, the first director of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Medellín; Tulio Rabinovich; and curator Alberto Sierra Maya. They selected eight young artists to participate in the event. The prize was given to María Teresa Cano (b. 1960) for her work Yo servida a la mesa [Myself Served on the Table]


The aims of the salon consist of encouraging the professionalization of art students at universities around the country; revitalizing the art scene of Medellín; and honoring the memory of Arturo and Rebeca Rabinovich. The immediate precedents for the event are the first Bienal Iberoamericana de Pintura—sponsored by the Coltejer textile company in 1968—and the founding of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Medellín (MAMM) in 1978. MAMM was founded due to the need for contemporary art venues in Medellín given the crisis underway at the Museo de Antioquia at the time.

Antonio Ochoa Flórez
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Tulio Rabinovich Manevich, Antioquía, Colombia.
Reproduced with permission of Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia