This essay by the critic and curator María Iovino (b. 1962) was published in the leaflet for the exhibition of works by Danilo Dueñas (b. 1956) Sin las palabras circundantes [Without the Attending Words] (2002) at the National University Art Museum. This essay is important because Iovino attempts a new critical explanation of Dueñas’ work in it that contradicts earlier assessments by indicating that his work is unstable, the discourse he expresses also tends to be “unstable.” Iovino, in fact, suggests that the name of the exhibition, Sin las palabras circundantes, refers to the fact that language is both inadequate and inappropriate for an all-encompassing experience of Dueñas’ work. The essay is important mainly because Iovino contemplates the features and elements of the artist’s work and describes how some of them actually behave. The instability of those elements, as well as the artist’s relationship to each one of them, lead to a sense of overflowing that prompts the critic to call the works “pictorial constructions” rather than paintings in any particular format. In fact, she stresses the conceptual value of these paintings in terms of the materials Dueñas uses to create them.
This essay is also important because it includes a review of Trailer exhibition, the earlier work that was presented at the Salón Nacional de Artistas [National Salon for Artists] in 1996, which according to Iovino, is a clear precursor to this exhibition (together with the works Espacio preservado I [Protected Space I] and Espacio preservado II [Protected Space II]) because they herald a new direction in the artist’s work. In Iovino’s opinion, Trailer exhibition not only reflected Dueñas’ attitude to major exhibitions such as the Salón Nacional, it was also a sort of critical work in its own right in which a specific selection of works was made within a closed space created by the artist. This is the first complete review of a work that was considered a milestone in the history of Colombian art at the 2002 Bogotá Art Biennial.