The XXXIII Colombian Salón de Artistas Nacionales, held in 1990, marked the event’s fiftieth anniversary. In the introduction to the catalogue, Liliana Bonilla Otoya, the director of Colcultura at the time, states: “We have attempted, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Salón Nacional, to take stock of how the visual arts have developed in the country, and thus assess the achievements and possible defects, as well as the vital continuation, of the arts into the future.”
The 1990 edition of the Salón Nacional de Artistas provided an opportunity to observe and review work by emerging artists, as well as more established figures whose production evidenced their role in the art world. For those knowledgeable of the local art scene, the event provided an interesting opportunity to compare the work of different generations. Nonetheless, González criticizes an excessive use of the resource of association in the layout of the exhibition which, in his view, does not reflect the nature of current production.
González mentions the most important artists and works in the show, while also discussing how it establishes a dynamic dialogue between “the micro” and “the macro,” that is, between the national context and the international points of reference that paved the way for interpretations and appropriations of different techniques and artistic languages. The eighties witnessed a transition in art, opening up a space of experimentation that privileged risk. González further asserts that, on the basis of the 1990 edition of the salon, it is possible to conclude that “revolutions are not necessarily powerful from the outset,” but rather reveal their strength with time.
María Teresa Hincapié (1954–2008) won first prize at this edition of the salon for her performance Una cosa es una cosa [A Thing Is a Thing], where the artist removed a large number of objects from a suitcase to then organize them in a rectangular space; in this work, decorative objects, food, and clothing were unpacked and packed incessantly. The sculpture Guatavita byConsuelo Gómez (born 1955) also won a prize, as did two untitled works: an acrylic on canvas by Rafael Echeverri (born 1956) and an oil on canvas by Alberto Sojo.