Since its foundation in 1980, Duque Arango has stood out as a reference in the diffusion of consolidated and emerging artists, presenting modern and contemporary artistic proposals. After 43 years, we are even more enthusiastic about creating a space that brings together a wide range of artistic proposals, offering viewers a clear vision of international art.
Today, we would like to recall some of the exhibitions that have taken place at Duque Arango.
Four elements: Alejandro Obregón (2020)
n the context of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the master Alejandro Obregón, the exhibition “The Four Elements” was presented, where the protagonist were the different observations that the artist makes about the landscape, the backbone theme of his production and the particular relationships of nature that are established in it. The curatorship proposes a journey from the three constitutive elements of the landscape: air, earth and water; adding to them a fourth, which is summarized in the presence of animals or other objects that populate his paintings.
As one of the main exponents of modernity in Colombian Art, Obregón used the tradition of landscape, strongly established since the end of the 19th century in the scene, to consolidate the languages of international modern art, in a place where the discussion was between the relevance of landscape and the growing presence of the influence of Mexican muralism in our nation.
Among the concerns that the artist presents through his production are those of a political nature, which were strongly present until the mid-sixties, and those of an ecological nature, which populated his paintings since the mid-sixties, making him perhaps the first artist in Colombia to denounce these problems.
2. Pain and Hope: Oswaldo Guayasamín (2021)
The exhibition was a large collection of the pictorial production of the Ecuadorian master Oswaldo Guayasamín, who is not only the most visible artist of that country during the 20th century, but also one of the most outstanding Latin American artists. His abundant work materialized through multiple media including not only painting but also murals, sculpture, drawing, graphics, jewelry and architectural conceptions. The artist was able to develop and project his work throughout six decades in different continents, attracting attention with his particular figurative expressionism and his evident social conscience.
It was an ambitious exhibition that brought together more than 30 works by the master from Spain, the United States and Panama. Mexico and different parts of Colombia. Through these, Medellín was able to appreciate a work that he himself called “of denunciation, of great strength, of content”, which despite having a lot of weight in this aspect, never neglected technique and aesthetic display that presents and in combination invites us to reflect on pain and hope: on Latin American history.
3. Balancing Exercises at the Edge of the Void: Gustavo Vélez (2021)
he sculpture of Gustavo Vélez, although it is commonly pointed out a similarity and closeness to the procedures and materials of the great masters, actually operates in the exact opposite way. Vélez opposes the tripod of the sculptors of the past to a single axis on which it seems that the pieces are magically held in full equilibrium. That is why his work is produced as a deliberate and complex exercise of balancing the forces of matter while giving them form. So, in the midst of creation, Vélez as an artist constantly grapples with the no small matter of overcoming gravity, a dangerous craft when working with monumental dimensions and weights of tons”.
4. Tiempo, Espacio y Memoria: David Manzur (2022)
Beyond an exhibition that wanted to focus on how exquisite it is to appreciate a work of the master for its visual content, the exhibition “Time, Space and Memory” assumed the function of paying tribute to the work of David Manzur, managing to collect much of it to be exhibited for 3 months.
The group of works presented at the Duque Arango Gallery, many from private collections, should be considered a brief anthology of the production of Manzur, an artist who has worked without pause since he was very young, experimenting with form on the flat support. The tour through the exhibition informs about important themes and moments that he has gone through in his life as an artist from 1973 to 2022. It is a very varied selection that shows works from the series of Las Ciudades Oxidadas, Los Caballos, Las Meninas, musical instruments, still lifes, and some very beautiful paintings with female characters; in short, a quantification of the production of this Colombian artist would yield information of incredible proportions, so whoever witnessed it, could know small parts of Manzur’s life captured in his paintings in a disguised way.
5. Fernando Botero: More than Volume (2023)
A good connoisseur of Botero will find his compulsive need to fill gaps in those elements that characterize different periods of his work in more than sixty years of artistic career. This time, more than 40 drawings, sculptures and paintings by the master of dimensions, Fernando Botero, converse in the same space. His bulls that initiated his love for art share with paintings of those brothels in the streets of Colombia; his musicians play while his religious figures are surrounded by his characteristic still lifes. The most representative series in the artist’s important career are brought together in the same place and give way to the exhibition Botero: More than Volume, which beyond the pictorial quality that makes the master so recognizable, gives us a glimpse of everything that once marked him in his life and influenced his art, allowing us to understand and appreciate the illustrious Fernando Botero from different milestones.
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