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    [Fisuras en el arte moderno: Nuevas propuestas] / por Carmen María Jaramillo
    Colombia, años 70: Revista al arte colombiano. -- Bogotá : Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá / Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo / Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá / Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2003.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays

    Jaramillo, Carmen María. "[Fisuras en el arte moderno: Nuevas propuestas]." In Colombia, años 70: Revista al arte colombiano, 5-73. Exh. cat., Bogotá: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá / Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo / Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá / Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2003.



This text by Carmen María Jaramillo discusses the exhibition, Colombia, años 70: Revista al arte colombiano (2002), curated by artist John Castles. Jaramillo presents the idea that some of the pioneering works of contemporary art in Colombia must be associated with the moment when certain conceptions of modern art were ruptured, that is, with the expansion of the limits of painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. The exhibitions, Espacios ambientales (1968) that art critic Marta Traba organized at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá, and the first Bienal Iberoamericana de Pintura Coltejer held that same year in Medellín were among the first occurrences where the powerful notions that had given shape to modern art in Colombia were questioned. According to Jaramillo, both events were crucial “to defining a new approach to art.” On the basis of what she sees as a change of perspective and a tendency to surmount artistic languages, Jaramillo analyzes the seventies in terms of three intersecting concerns: artistic processes at institutional and public events; the introduction of international conceptions; and the art scene in Bogotá as well as three provincial cities. The author divides the text into six sections: (I) “Modern or contemporary art?”; (II) “The National Front and youth”; (III) “Cali, graphic art and the new artistic panorama”; (IV) “Made in Medellín”; (V) “Bogotá”; and (VI) “Barranquilla.”


The exhibition Colombia, años 70: Revista al arte colombiano (August 2002), and the text “Fisuras en el arte moderno: Nuevas propuestas” by Carmen María Jaramillo (b.1958) are two of the first twenty-first century revisions of Colombian art from the seventies and its implications. The text and the curatorial project are not related per se, since parts of “Fisuras […]” had been formulated prior to the exhibition in Jaramillo’s master’s thesis.

Since the first years of this century, Colombian art historians have undertaken a critical revision of the seventies because the “ruptures” and “shifts” that took place at that time merit further analysis. The seventies witnessed the strengthening of the work of artists active in the sixties, while young artists from the cities of Cali, Medellín, and Barranquilla emerged on the art scene. Cultural institutions such as modern art museums also played a key role, as did the controversies surrounding the Salón Nacional de Artistas, and other Colombian and international events that gave rise to an exchange between Latin American visual production and criticism. 

The catalogue text contains sections of the master’s thesis, “Manifestaciones de la crisis del arte moderno en Colombia: 1968–1978,” (2001) that Carmen María Jaramillo wrote while studying at the History and Theory of Art and Architecture Department of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Before getting her master’s degree, Jaramillo studied philosophy. She was the curator of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá from 1994 to 1998. A university professor, she is also the coordinator in Colombia of the project Documents of 20th-Century Latin America and Latino Art (ICAA, MFAH). Since 2009, she has been the director of Unidad de Artes and other collections of the Banco de la República of Colombia.

The exhibition, which was held in 2002, offered a retrospective vision of the seventies in Colombia. According to its curator, John Castles, the show “undertakes a revision of the formulations and concepts operative in Colombian art starting in those years, investigating their most significant contributions to critical figuration through printmaking and drawing; realism as the antithesis of experimental photography; geometric abstraction and the development of Conceptual art” (“Introduction,” Colombia, años 70: Revista al arte colombiano, 2002).

The exhibition was held at the Sala de Exposiciones of the Academia Superior de Artes of Bogotá [ASAB], a public institution in the capital city that has offered professional training programs in the visual arts, theater, music, and contemporary dance since 1992.


Katia González Martinez
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Carmen María Jaramillo, Bogotá, Colombia