The group of works awarded prizes at Arte para El Dorado (1986) evidences the range of non-figurative sculptural proposals to be found on the Colombian art scene in the eighties. Édgar Negret (1920?2012), whose career began in the forties, presented works from the Metamorfosis series which formed part of his final body of works. Those pieces consist of lattices in painted lightweight aluminum. The proposals by sculptors John Castles (b. 1946) and Ronny Vayda (b. 1954)—both of whom are architects—and by Marta Elena Vélez (b. 1938) were of a different nature. All three of those artists formed part of a group that, starting in the seventies, produced art that engaged the public space of the city of Medellín. While their languages differ, both Castles and Vayda use materials like iron and steel in untitled works. Castles’s piece entails creases in sheets of industrial materials, whereas Vayda makes use of heavyweight iron porticos.
Carlos Rojas (1933−97) and Bernardo Salcedo (1939−2007), on the other hand, engage in an “appropriation” of everyday materials. For Pórtico al Dorado, Rojas, whose career began in the fifties, erected a subtle iron structure, a sort of architectural space inside the public space. In Mar picado, part of a series of assemblages with metal saws that would continue until 1988, Salcedo explores the possible meanings of an object by altering its function and heeding a materiality with political-aesthetic implications. By means of montage, the drawing-based work proposed by Francisco López Arango (b. 1951) ventures into public space as the artist places an artistic Bomba in El Dorado International Airport. The work formulated by Adolfo Bernal (1954−2008), who was little known at the time, was radically different from the others: for Señal, the artist placed gabions (stone containers with metal mesh) in the hallways of the terminal. The untitled work by Consuelo Gómez Soto (b. 1956) juxtaposes materials like stone and wood that differ in terms of shape and texture. Lastly, Manolo Vellojín (1943?2013) produced Lingote for El Dorado, a work that hones the geometric stroke characteristic of his painting.
The works selected for Arte para El Dorado (1986), a competition organized and run by the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá and the Departamento Administrativo de Aeronáutica Civil, were never installed in the airport. Years later, in 1994, a project spearheaded by art critic Ana María Escallón Emiliani (b. 1954), one that actually reached fruition, entailed transporting to El Dorado freeway the eight sculptures currently found there, specifically the following works by Colombian artists: Ventana by aforementioned artist Carlos Rojas; Horizonte by Édgar Negret; Doble victoria alada by Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar (1923?2004); Longos by Hugo Zapata (b. 1945); and Pedazo de río by Bernardo Salcedo. Works by foreign artists are El viajero by Argentine artist Antonio Seguí (b. 1934), who lives in France; Eclipse by Mexican artist Ángela Gurría (b. 1929); and Intiwatana by Peruvian artist Fernando de Szyszlo (b. 1925).