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.
The text “El dibujo como experiencia vital” written by Alberto González Rodríguez discusses graphic work by Colombian artist Óscar Jaramillo in relation to the historical context and artistic tendencies operative in his native Medellín and in Colombia as a whole in the seventies. Rodríguez’s critical text contains five chapters: “Cambios y confrontaciones”; “Las Bienales de Coltejer y sus efectos en el arte regional”; “Los once antioqueños”; “Óscar Jaramillo, ‘un espléndido realista’”; and “La praxis.” In the first three, González Rodríguez provides a concise account of the historical context of the fifties, including major trends in international art of the time. He discusses specifically Nadaísmo—an existentialist philosophical and literary movement that emerged in Colombia in the late fifties—and the formulation of abstraction in Colombian art. He also addresses the establishment of major art events in Medellín and the later recognition in Bogotá of a generation of artists from other Colombian cities which, in the sixties, served to expand the nation’s visual art scene. In the final two chapters, González Rodríguez discusses Jaramillo’s work in drawing, relating his technique to the avant-garde scene of the time and to the concept of “realism” understood as the representation closest to reality as experienced by the artist. According to González Rodríguez, Jaramillo renders the laws of “the tactile” on the basis of memory and imagination.
This rigorous investigation of work by artist Óscar Jaramillo (b. 1947) establishes a connection between the socio-political context of Colombia and the artist’s production. It is a point of reference on major events and strains of thought pertinent to Colombian art in the sixties and seventies. The text pays particular attention to artistic practices and events that took place in the city of Medellín, practices and events that played a role in disseminating art throughout northwestern Colombia. The text mentions exhibitions like Once artistas antioqueños (1975), held at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá, which proved instrumental to the legitimization and recognition of artists from smaller Colombian cities. Exhibitions like that one were geared specifically to supporting artists from cities such as Barranquilla, Medellín, and Cali and, therefore, they suggest an incipient interest in decentralizing artistic production and the visibility of that production.
Alberto González Rodríguez provides a rigorous description of the technical process Jaramillo used to make his drawings, which he compares to works in the mezzotint technique. By means of this method, Jaramillo is able to reach a level of detail that the author calls “a visual operation comparable to tactile experience.” In González Rodríguez’s view, Jaramillo’s choice of that process means taking a stance on the Modern tendencies of the time. González Rodríguez, whose historical assessment of what is called “realism” is cautious, describes Jaramillo’s work as powerfully real and obsessive. He describes Jaramillo as a “printmaker who draws” tactile reality. González Rodríguez cites Colombian writer Elkin Restrepo (b. 1942) in relation to the squalor, marginality, and representational gloom of the scenes Jaramillo draws. He fails to mention, however, the relationship between those traits and the Colombian literary and philosophical movement called Nadaísmo, which he seems to deem insignificant.
Colombian mathematician and visual artist Alberto González Rodríguez taught in the Art Department of Universidad Nacional of Colombia (Medellín campus). He was a member of the jury at the X Salón Nacional de Artistas.