This text addresses the notions underlying the work of Colombian ceramicist and painter Beatriz Daza (1927–1968), specifically her early experiments with firing ceramics and with enamel. Art critic Marta Traba (1923–1983) discusses Daza’s work in terms of pictorial language. While Traba was not a supporter of Informalism in painting, she did use the principles of that movement to theorize about ceramics.
Due to the brevity of Daza’s career, this is one of the few writings on her work. Her art was displayed in public for the first time in a solo exhibition at the Salón de pintoras de la Universidad de América. There would be a total of four solo shows after 1959, during the nine- year period that Daza was an active artist. She died in a car accident in 1968, after having been a member of the jury at the VII Salón de Cerámica. The few writings that do exist on Daza and her work are collected in the book Beatriz Daza: hace mucho tiempo (Bogotá: Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño, 2008).
Daza’s experimental work in the ceramics medium defied the established limits of that discipline. Her melting pots, plaques, and assemblages were not easy to categorize as ceramics, paintings, or sculptures, and therefore questioned formalist discourse and definitions.