This text is pertinent for a number of reasons. Not only because it interprets work by Rafael Echeverri (1952-1995) in relation to international abstraction and the particular ways in which Echeverri absorbed abstraction in his painting. But also from a historical and critical perspective, the text discusses the development of abstraction in the context of Colombia. In her reading, curator and art historian Carmen María Jaramillo connects Echeverri’s contribution as an artist to certain processes in Colombian art history linked to what she calls a “permissive” Modernism. In this, Jaramillo’s interpretation differs from others formulated in the forties and fifties. For further information, see “Ni auge, ni decadencia, desarrollo progresivo” ; texts by Marta Traba such as “Pintura Abstracta de Colombia ; and later texts (1983) by art historian María Elvira Iriarte such as “Primeras etapas de la abstracción en Colombia” [1079768 and 1079798].
During his short life, Rafael Echeverri received a number of distinctions thanks to his unprecedented visual formulations and the reflections to which they gave rise: first prize at the XXXIII Salón Nacional de Artistas, Corferias and first prize at the VIII Salón del Antiguo Caldas, Manizales in 1983. He took part in exhibitions such as the first edition of the Bienal de Arte Latinoamericano, Havana, Cuba; the first edition of the Bienal de Arte of Bogotá; and the exhibition Historia de la Pintura Abstracta held at the Universidad Nacional of Colombia’s Art Museum in Bogotá. In a certain sense, his late painting, which consisted of monochromes called black mirrors, foretold his early death.
Trained in philosophy, Carmen María Jaramillo has a master’s degree in the history and theory of art and architecture from the Universidad Nacional of Colombia. She has served as head of Colcultura’s Visual Arts Department, the director of the Banco de la República of Colombia’s art collections, and curator at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá. The outstanding shows she has curated include A través del espejo, Alejandro Obregón, pinturas 1947-1968 at the Museo Nacional of Colombia. She is the author of the books Alejandro Obregón el Mago del Caribe and Carlos Rojas. She was a member of the curatorial committee for the New Proposals program of the Alianza Colombo-Francesa in Bogotá. Her studies include “Arte moderno y contemporáneo en Colombia” for the Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo and the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá; and “Consolidación del arte moderno en Colombia,” a research project made possible by a grant from the Ministerio de Cultura. Currently (2010), she is a freelance curator and researcher.