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    Luis Ángel Rengifo, grabador / Ivonne Pini
    Escala/ I.I.E (Bogotá, Colombia). --- Ene. 1986
    p. 2- 13 : ill.
    Journal article – Essays
    Pini, Ivonne. "Luis Angel Rengifo, grabador." Escala/ I. I. E (Bogotá, Colombia), January 1986, 2- 13.
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Ivonne Pini published a monograph on the work of the printmaker Luis Ángel Rengifo in which she provided a comprehensive overview of all his artwork, placing it in the context of both Latin America and Colombia. In the first section, she gives continental precedents, in which Mexico’s contributions to graphic art are particularly noteworthy. In the second section, the writer focuses her attention on Colombian graphic art of the 1950s, after Rengifo had returned to Colombia from Mexico City (1950). (While Rengifo was in Mexico, printmaking was regarded in Colombia as a minor language in the arts.) The year after he returned, Rengifo reopened printmaking workshops at the Universidad Nacional of Colombia. The importance of this act was reflected in a statement by the art historian Gabriel Giraldo Jaramillo, who considered Rengifo “the true restorer of graphic art in Colombia.” The third and last section divides the printmaker’s work into two phases: one involving prints (rendered in Mexico) that represented daily life, featuring people with working-class origins. The second phase, after his return to Bogotá, reaffirmed his thematic predilection for people and the landscape around them. Both phases were incorporated into his work to such a degree that, in the 1960s, he promoted graphic art with social content. In doing so, Pini believes he was “adding his work to the body of testimonial graphic art.”


Ivonne Pini, professor and art historian from the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (IIE) of the Universidad Nacional of Colombia, has studied the recovery of the central role of the graphic arts in Colombia in the 1960s and 1970s. Two articles that confirm that recovery are “Luis Ángel Rengifo: grabador” (1986) and “Gráfica testimonial en Colombia. Mediados de los sesenta a comienzos de los setenta” (1987) [see doc. no. 1092323]. Both texts represent Pini’s significant contributions to Colombian art history. They are notable because they revived an interest in persons with the stature of the printmaker Luis Ángel Rengifo (1906?86). In an earlier study, he had been recognized as the “the true restorer of graphic art in Colombia” (Giraldo Jaramillo, Gabriel, El grabado en Colombia [Bogotá: A. B. C., 1959], p. 166). This label, given him by art historians, places him as a precursor of the twentieth-century printmaking heyday. Still, it should also be remembered that in the 1930s, graphic art flourished after an even earlier period of popularity in the late nineteenth century. Above all, this was based on editions of Papel Periódico Ilustrado (1881?88), an arts journal run by the journalist and draftsman Alberto Urdaneta (1845-87) and the Spanish engraver Antonio Rodríguez. There was also a period in which Americanist artists flourished in the 1920s and 1930s under the influence of Mexican art. Thus, for Sergio Trujillo Magnenat (1911-99), Gonzalo Ariza (1912-95) and Carlos Correa (1912–85), printmaking meant a way to popularize social themes (as occurred with the public mural) that supported natives, peasants and workers.  


The journal Escala/I.I.E. Universidad Nacional, a monthly publication of the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas (IIE) of the Universidad Nacional of Colombia, was launched to inform people about important, less-studied aspects of the national culture. This was represented by major exponents of the visual arts, music and architecture. In the collection Escala/IIE monographs were published on the following artists: Pedro Nel Gómez (1899-1984), Fídolo Alfonso González (1883-1941), Jim Amaral (b. 1933), Beatriz González (b. 1938), Guillermo Wiedemann (1905-69), Feliza Bursztyn (1933-82) and Sergio Trujillo Magnenat (1911?99). 


Ivonne Pini is a historian at the Instituto de Profesores Artigas in Montevideo (Uruguay). She obtained her master’s degree in the History and Theory of Art and Architecture at the Universidad Nacional of Colombia. She was a tenured professor there and is now professor emeritus at the same university. Outstanding among her publications are “En busca de lo propio. Inicios de la modernidad en el arte de Cuba, México, Uruguay y Colombia 1920?1930” (2000) and “Fragmentos de memoria: los artistas latinoamericanos piensan el pasado” (2001). In recent years, she has been executive editor of the journal Arte en Colombia-Art Nexus, a professor at the Universidad de los Andes and a professor in the doctoral program in Art and Architecture at the Universidad Nacional of Colombia.

Katia González Martínez
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Ivonne Pini, Bogotá, Colombia