Art has reached all corners of the world, generating throughout history a significant number of artists who have been and continue to be transcendental in the creative arena. Latin America is no exception, as is well demonstrated for example by modern and classic Colombian writers, actors, sculptors and singers, adding to this select group of artists the artists of Colombia who, through their ingenuity, talent and creativity, enjoy the privilege of communicating with other legends of the visual arts. Through this article, you will learn a little about the lives and careers of 8 Colombian artists, along with the most important works of their careers.
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Francisco Antonio Cano (1865 – 1935)
We begin this list of famous Colombian artists and their works with this artist from Antioquia, who also developed in his life as a sculptor, engraver and writer with works that are known for emphasizing the identity of his region of birth as well as the country of New Granada as a whole.
Trained at the Académie Julian in Paris as a student of none other than Claude Monet, Cano became one of the most important artists in Colombia in the 20th century, not only for his creative abilities but also for promoting the teaching of art. native Antioquia through the founding of the School of Fine Arts in Medellín, distinguished later as a teacher and director of the School of Fine Arts in Bogotá, director of the National Lithography, founder of the magazine Reading and Art and a member of the Columbia Academy of Fine Arts.
As for his artistic work as an artist, which, as mentioned, he dedicated to representing the history and everyday life of his country, the following paintings stand out, important in the works of Colombian artists:
- The artist’s studio
- The voluptuousness of the sea
- Virgin of the Lilies
- The portraits of Fidel Cano, Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, Rafael Nunez, Francisco Javier Cisneros and other heroes of Colombian life
- historical painting Crossing of the Liberation Army through the Páramo de Pisba
- horizonshis masterpiece in which the lives of the inhabitants of Coffee axis during the colonization of Antioch.
Pedro Nell Gomez (1899 – 1984)
In this group of the most important artists in Colombia, we include another artist from Antioquia, who in life also appeared as an architect, civil engineer, philosopher, urban planner, sculptor and muralist. He was initially trained in the first career called the School of Mines in Medellín, graduating in 1922 and leaving for Europe two years later to pursue art, touring countries such as France, Italy and the Netherlands.
On his return to Medellin he was appointed director of the School of Fine Arts in that city, a position which was used to emphasize his talent, achieving such dedication that he had the opportunity to distinguish himself as a fresco painter for the decoration of public buildings, with controversial works in terms of their emphasized social meaning. Of these famous murals in Colombia, it is worth mentioning:
- Obeisance to the people of Antioch
- Life descends from Guajira
- The Hungry Boy’s Empty Table
- the dead miner
- migration forces
- The unemployed
- History of the nation.
Deborah Arango (1907 – 2005)
In this remarkable group of Colombian artists and their works, the participation of women in the artistic field cannot be overlooked, as Arango, born in Medellín, is one of the most famous expressionists to emerge from Colombia. Her rebellious nature was projected into many of her works, as despite coming from a wealthy family, she abandoned conservatism to turn to social and political criticism, as well as being the first woman to paint nude bodies.
However, her daring style took her to Mexico, England, France, Scotland, Austria, the United States and Spain, visiting the latter country on the eve of the consolidation of the Franco regime.
Among the works of Colombian artists conceived by Arango stand out The departure of Laureano, the intellectual nun, the butchers, portrait of a friend, justice, Sunrise, The mob graveyard and/or my head and many other paintings that position her as a feminist artist with political criticism, awarded before her death with the Order of the Boyac.
Emma Reyes (1919 – 2003)
We have included one more woman, this time from Bogotá, in this list of Colombian artists. She has a childhood marked by being an orphan and all sorts of hardships, being admitted with her sister to a convent where they barely manage to achieve basic literacy.
However, in the 1940s he began a journey through Latin America, having his first contact with painting after passing through Buenos Aires. Her first works, dedicated to showing the markets and squares she observed during her travels, led her to receive a scholarship to study at the Academie André Lotte in Paris, where in 1949 she held her first exhibition.
From her stay in Mexico as a collaborator on the work of the famous muralist Diego Rivera, she had important experiences, such as her work on the Olympic Stadium of the Ciudad Universitaria del DF and the installation of the acclaimed exhibition of Frida Kahlo at the gallery of Lola Alvarez Bravo, which was assistant and which gave him the opportunity to exhibit some of his works made in Mexico and Paris.
His artistic style varies between indigenism and figurative, geometric and abstract work, as well expressed in paintings such as vegetable god, Calligraphy and his countless untitled paintings.
Alejandro Obregon (1920 – 1992)
Another famous Colombian artist who, although born in Barcelona (Spain), has become a benchmark in American art through his magical expressionism where he incorporated the techniques of Cubism.
He arrived in Barranquilla at the age of sixteen, and after several unsuccessful attempts to decide which profession to pursue both inside and outside the Colombian borders, his functions as vice consul of Colombia in Barcelona allowed him to have contact with the most distinguished Spanish and flamenco artists , so he became a self-taught artist, where he even managed to hold a solo exhibition.
Returning to Colombia in 1944, he served as a professor at the School of Fine Arts in Bogotá, where he made every effort to promote artistic education beyond traditional academicism and closer to the creative avant-garde that was emerging in his time. His talent led him to receive the National Award for Painting, awarded in 1963 by the Salon of Colombian Artists.
Among the Colombian paintings of his authorship are Portrait of Bolivar, dead student, doors and space, still life in yellow, torocondor and his most famous work, The violence.
David Manzoor (1929)
Among the famous painters of Colombia we find a native of Caldas, trained at the School of Fine Arts of Bogotá and with further studies in New York, particularly at the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute of that American city.
It should be noted that from his time in the North American nation he gained experience in the constructivist style at the hands of Nahum Gabo, to whom he was an assistant, as well as in 19th-century North American realism, two of the currents that influenced his work between the 1950s and 1970. On the other hand, paintings from this period also show references to the Spanish Baroque, as Manzur follows the path of Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Zurbaran.
Of the paintings of Colombian artists made by the genius of Manzur are Agony, Still life, crazy, dream of the horse and its series rusty citiesindicating the decline of the planet in recent decades.
Ana Mercedes Hoyos (1942 – 2014)
Another woman who deserves to be mentioned in this list of Colombian artists is this artist from Bogotá who also developed a career as a sculptor. Although he studied plastic arts at both the Universidad de los Andes and the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá, he did not receive a degree from these schools due to his decision to devote himself exclusively to painting.
She expressed her talent through figurative and abstract works that brought her to national and international recognition with awards such as Caracas CityOrder of Democracy in its degree of Commander and the Civil Order of Merit of the City of Santa Fe de Bogotá, among many other awards.
He has held a significant number of solo exhibitions and participated in several group exhibitions with works that pay tribute to Afro-Colombian heritage, such as palenque still lifeyour series Windows, Palenqueras since November Y black gold.
Ferdinand Botero (1932)
And to close this list, we could not miss perhaps the most versatile of Colombian artists, painters and sculptors, with a unique style called Boterism characterized by the representation of figures recognizable by all because of their volume and voluptuousness, being a starting point for current Colombian artists. He began as a self-taught artist to pay for his secondary education and after they graduated, Botero was able to move from his native Medellin to Bogotá, where in 1951 he held his first two solo exhibitions.
He completed his artistic career thanks to a trip around Europe that allowed him to study at the Royal Academy of Arts in San Fernando (Madrid). He also traveled to Mexico, drawing inspiration from the works of his countryman Alejandro Obregon and the Aztec artist Rufino Tamayo. However, his residency in New York in the sixties was decisive for his final foray into the avant-garde of the moment.
Today, his works, scattered in several countries around the world, are admired by the public, standing out among his paintings The death of Pablo Escobarhis version of Mona Lisa, Car bomb, dead bishops, Pope Leo X Y Dance in Colombia.
Although the Latin American artistic scene today is represented by an important group of young Colombian singers who have created texts and musical styles that have fascinated the world public, we must not forget that many Colombian artists such as those already mentioned have also been responsible for exalting the original creative feeling of the South American nation. These Colombian artists and their representative works are the maximum expression of the national identity and the artistic and cultural heritage of the territory of New Granada, which allows them to be ranked among the best artists in the world.