This document is important not only as an impressive graphic work of the period, but also for bringing together a number of readings of works by artist Bernardo Salcedo (1939–2007). The range of texts makes plain that Salcedo—one of the Colombian artists preferred by critics from Colombia and abroad in the sixties and seventies—was one of the most controversial intellectuals of the time. From the outset, Salcedo’s career was linked to the debates that paved the way for Pop and Conceptual art in Colombia, which redefined media like painting, drawing, and sculpture. All of this gave rise to doubt and suspicion, which largely explain the artist’s contradictory statements in different mass media outlets.
After receiving a degree in architecture, Salcedo worked not only as an artist, but also as a well-known advertising art director and as a professor of architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. The fact that he worked in those other fields was often used against his artistic production which, it was argued, did not consist of artworks at all but expressions bound to those other fields. According to Camilo Solvente’s text in this document, Salcedo’s response to this criticism was disconcerting on occasion. In the context of the Bienal de Coltejer, for instance, where his work Hectárea de heno [Hectare of Hay] was awarded a prize, Salcedo stated that he had been certain while making that work, and others, that they would receive prizes just because they were pleasing to critical trends of the time. In the context of the Bienal de Coltejer (held in Medellin), critics would laud him as a great artist insofar as his work was in keeping with the “Conceptual tendencies” of the most innovative artists of the time.