The curator Eduardo Serrano Rueda (b. 1939) was one of the most controversial critics in the Colombian art world in the 1970s and 1980s. He promoted contemporary art and supported generations of emerging artists during this period.
His introduction to the exhibition VIII Salón Atenas underscores the tensions implicit in his critical work and barely conceals his likes and dislikes among other critics operating in Colombia at the time. This essay also sheds light on the complex process of consolidation of contemporary art during the transitional period of the country, from the 1970s to the 1980s.
The Salón Atenas (also known as the November Salon) was an annual exhibition directed by Eduardo Serrano Rueda, who at the time was the curator of the Museo de Arte Moderno [Museum of Modern Art] in Bogotá, through a program of grants awarded to young artists (under thirty years of age) to create works that would then be exhibited. The artists featured at the eighth and penultimate edition of the Salón Atenas were: Daniel Castro (b.1960), Luz Elena Castro (b. 1955), Consuelo Gómez (b. 1955), Ricardo Gómez (b. 1954), David Izquierdo (b. 1959), Karen Lamassonne, from New York (b. 1954), María Evelia Marmolejo (b. 1958), Nadín Ospina (b. 1960), Jorge Pachón (b. 1954), and Santiago Uribe (b. 1958).
The nine Salóns Atenas, presented from 1975 to 1984, launched the careers of several notable contemporary Colombian visual artists, including Miguel Ángel Rojas (b. 1946), Antonio Caro (b. 1950), Rosemberg Sandoval (b. 1959), and Nadín Ospina, among others.