Today, I visited the Museo d’Arte Moderno de Barranquilla. Fortunately, and thanks again to the great Colombian amiability, they opened it just for me since it was close for renovation, and the guard noticing that I was a gringo from Canada… – on my way to the museum, I saw the dogs of my last post sleeping on the street. The MMAB had a special exhibit of Luis Caballero’s works, based on strong gay eroticism. It was my first encounter with this artist whom I found very interesting. His drawings (conté, sanguine and watercolour) were just astounding. Born in 1947, he died at a very young age, in 1995.
After visiting this very small museum, undoubtedly, I would sincerely say that the golden age of Colombian art was belong to the late 50s and the early 60s, just before the civil unrest which led to the FARC movement; war and art doesn’t go well together, unless you want to express its horrors such as Goya, Callot and many more did. This golden age is linked to the American Abstract Expressionism influence felt all over the world. Worth to underline once more, the works of the barranquillero Alejandro Obregón which for me are very romantic since they call always nature. Enrique Grau, from Cartagena (a city two hours away) is also a prominent figure of Colombian painting, but more conservative in his approach to art. Below, Woman with a fan (1960), is a good example of his works when the flatness of canvas joust with figuration. Needless to mention the works of Botero renowned throughout the world. Indeed, Obregón, Grau and Botero compose the triumvirate of Colombian Art, just like Riopelle, Pellan and Borduas for Canada; and Pollock, Rothko and Warhol for the United States.