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The journalist Gloria Valencia Diago introduces Sonia Gutiérrez and discusses her first solo exhibition presented at the Sala Gregorio Vásquez at the National Library in Bogotá. Valencia Diago describes the young artist as “go-go from head to foot,” and explains that Gutiérrez is still in her final semester at the Escuela de Bellas Artes [School of Fine Arts] at the Universidad Nacional. Valencia also lists the most important group exhibitions in which Gutiérrez has taken part since the beginning of her career. In discussing the fifteen drawings and ten oil paintings in this exhibition, Valencia explains that the drawings include domestic interior scenes, open air activities, and portraits. Most of the oils are nudes, painted “from a model and with obvious skill.” She adds that unlike many other artists, Gutiérrez transitioned from “abstraction” and experimental ideas toward what she describes as a form of “academicism,” that is, in her opinion, distinguished by its “spontaneity.” Valencia also remarks on the artist’s constant efforts to simplify forms, and mentions that her paintings are rendered “in clear, mainly violet tones.” In Valencia’s opinion, Gutiérrez’s main goal is to “become a great painter” who admits her admiration for artists such as Beatriz González and Fernando Botero.
In this article, the journalist Gloria Valencia Diago (de Castaño) (1927?2011) reviews the first solo exhibition of works by Sonia Gutiérrez (b. 1947) at the Sala Gregorio Vásquez at the National Library in Bogotá. This exhibition joins the list of competitions in which Gutiérrez has taken part since 1962, in which she has demonstrated her affinity for the younger generation. In Valencia’s opinion, Gutiérrez’s return to figuration and her interest in everyday urban concerns has helped in her renewal of the visual art values that were established by the previous generation.
The journalist’s descriptions of the painter’s works are ambiguous and poorly developed, and her formal observations pay scant attention to the ideas that Gutiérrez was exploring, especially in terms of her interest in ornamentation, the aesthetics of fashion, and the spaces of her particular period. Valencia Diago, however, does provide historical information that is helpful for those interested in the early career of this artist whose work has been relatively ignored by researchers, curators, and publishers. Included in those historical details is a reference to the Fourth Prize that Gutiérrez won at the III Salón Nacional de Pintura [Third National Painting Salon] that was organized by Croydon, a private company, in 1967 with her work titled Dos cajoncitos de dos en dos, alzan la pata y dicen adios [Two Little Boxes Two By Two, Lift Their Leg and Say Adieu]. It is of interest to note the mention of Beatriz González (b. 1938) and Fernando Botero (b. 1932), both of whom Gutiérrez professes to admire. Although these two artists are from a different historical periods, her admiration of them indicates her interest in the kind of art that uses everyday scenes and events to explore iconic aspects of their common society.
In the 1970s, Sonia Gutiérrez’s art changed radically and she developed an openly political approach. This eventually led to her exile from the country in the mid-1990s, which put an end to her involvement in the local art scene. These days her work is frequently exhibited in Switzerland.
There is more information on this subject in the article written by Germán Rubiano Caballero about the same exhibition, which has been reviewed for this digital archive [see doc. no. 1132096].