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.
In her essay “Apolonio: un objeto encontrado”—about the painter Luis Luna’s series El libro de Apolonio—the critic and curator Carmen María Jaramillo takes a long look at the work of this Colombian artist. Jaramillo scrutinizes the visual elements and literary references that she finds in Luna’s paintings in order to interpret the “autonomous universe” created by the artist in which the written word has pride of place. This is the version that appeared in the catalogue for the exhibition (of the same name) that was presented at the Galería Diners in Bogotá in 1997. Jaramillo devotes a chapter of her essay to the resurgence of painting in the 1990s (as had happened before with the retour à l’ordre [return to order] in the early years of the century); she explains that in the event of a phenomenon of this nature, “one is not talking from within a corpse; one is working inside a live organism that, like every system, must renew itself without losing any of its original characteristics.” Based on this idea, she views Luna’s work as being in a constant state of transformation, a project that is closely related to the concept of collage and the juxtaposition of elements, through which the idea of two-dimensionality is examined.
The series El libro de Apolonio exhibited by Luis Luna (b. 1958) at the Galería Diners in Bogotá, in 1997, reveals what he has achieved through his experiments with painting. It also reveals how his career has been influenced by his constant traveling, his exposure to other cultures, and his passion for literary milestones. The exhibition takes place in an environment in which reformulations and conceptualizations of pictorial language occupy an important place in the visual arts. It should be noted that Luna is one of a group of Colombian artists who were known for their “new painting” in the 1990s.
Luis Luna’s series of works is based on the medieval novel “The Book of Apollonius,” in which the King of Tyre is the protagonist of an adventure story about a hero who was endowed with certain powers and faces the challenges he encounters throughout the long tale. Luna’s references to literature are not unusual, as indicated by Jaramillo; in fact, they seem to provide the inspiration for his works. Written words are an integral part of his work, treated as just another element together with color and shapeless forms. Luna creates a semantic arrangement in which figures and words take on meanings related to the context. Jaramillo stresses this aspect of Luna’s works and refers to the experiences he has had that inspire him to create a mutant pictorial language where he also suggests a montage of a permanent nature.
It is interesting to consider how Jaramillo’s article establishes a connection with the paintings in this series; as one reads one grasps the philosophical nature of the text and its poetic form. The quotes Jaramillo includes blend the artist’s voice with her thoughts. “This exhibition is much more pictorial. I am not interested in stretching limits or offering phatic descriptions now; I just want to transmit visions,” says Luna at the end of the article.