Three jewels of Colombian art at the Venice Biennale

Three jewels of Colombian art at the Venice Biennale

“Foreigners everywhere”, that is the name of the collection from the Bank of the Republic that traveled to Italy

FROM April 20 to November 24, “Head of a Crying Man” (1957), by Oswaldo Guayasamín, “Sleeping Man” (1945), by Enrique Grau and “El sembrador” (1958), by Lucy Tejada; Works that are part of the Art Collection of the Bank of the Republic, are exhibited at the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale: Stranieri Ovunque - Foreigners Everywhere.
The Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious artistic and cultural events today and an international benchmark for contemporary art. The title of the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale, Foreigners Everywhere (in Spanish), curated by Brazilian Adriano Pedrosa, comes from the name of a Turin collective that fought against racism and xenophobia in Italy in early the 2000s: Stranieri Ovunque.

In this new edition, the great international exhibition celebrates foreigners, marginalized identities and sexual diversity that has been historically excluded in the context of global contemporary art, but also those who have lived and created in countries different from their place. originally.

In addition to the contemporary artists section, the historical core brings together 20th century creators from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, in order to question the definition of modernism, traditionally represented by European or American artists. Regarding this decision, the curator, the first representative of South America to have this responsibility, states he.

The phrase “Foreigners everywhere” has a double meaning. First of all, “that wherever you go and wherever you are, you will always meet foreigners, they/we are everywhere. Secondly, that no matter where you are, you are always, truly, and deep down, a foreigner.”

This selection aligns with the representation of the indigenous, the vulnerable, the marginalized and the definition of Latin American modernism.

“Head of a man crying”

It dates back to 1957, by Oswaldo Guayasamín, a painter and political activist whose expressionist representations of the plight of indigenous populations earned him great recognition in the mid- and late 20th century. This work is an emblematic creation of expressionism by the Ecuadorian artist, who used it as a social protest, representing the oppression that many indigenous cultures in Latin America faced.

It is one of the pieces with which the Art Collection of the Banco de la República began in 1957, and with which Guayasamín's work is exhibited for the first time in this Biennial.

"Sleeping man"

It belongs to Enrique Grau, the painter who significantly influenced Colombian modernism. In his early work the human figure predominates, mainly blacks, mulattoes, indigenous people, from the Caribbean area. “Sleeping Man” is a work from the beginning of the artist's career, where his interest in representing the indigenous and Afro-Colombian population is expressed, endowed with everyday naturalness and eroticism.

"The sower"

By Lucy Tejad, a pioneer who helped consolidate modernism in Colombia and one of the first women to be recognized as a professional artist in the country. This work was created in a year of great professional success: it was selected to represent Colombia at the First Inter-American Painting Biennial in Mexico City and at the 1958 Venice Biennial, along with an individual exhibition at the Luis Ángel Arango Library. .

In addition to the Bank's works, the Colombian presence is highlighted with pieces from different public and private collections. Among them, the works of prominent artists such as Olga de Amaral, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Fanny Sanín, Emma Reyes, Enrique Grau, Lucy Tejada, Marco Ospina, Umberto Giangrandi, Alejandro Obregón, Iván Argote, Wilson Rodríguez, Abel Rodríguez and Rómulo Rozo stand out. . All of them present in the Art Collection of the Republic and some recently exhibited in the Sowing the Doubt exhibition.