This brochure is one of a series of catalogues put out during the early phase of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá (MAM), a period that spanned from 1962 to 1965 when Marta Traba (1923–1983) served as its director. During this period, the institution gained strength as it concentrated on supporting the visual languages of Colombia by means of exhibitions of artists of different generations, backgrounds, and artistic affiliations.
As poet Elmo Valencia (b. 1926) remarks in his text in this catalogue, the work by Hernando Tejada (1920–1998) in this exhibition reflects a unique visual language and sense of humor. He “binds forms and hollows to mock cynical and paradoxical modern times.” Vienna-born art critic Walter Engel (1908–2005) seconds that assessment in his column on art published in the newspaper El Espectador on June 6, 1965. Engel describes some of the reliefs as charming assemblages made as the artist saw fit and as “[…] proof of impressive visual resources and of an amazingly fertile and creative fantasy world.” Engel places Hernando Tejada in the context of “El Grupo de Cali,” characterized by an interest in generating new forms, ideas, and methods.
The Tejada exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno in 1965 demonstrates the museum’s commitment to an inclusive approach by featuring artists of different ages, regions, and tendencies to create a heterogeneous visual arts scene. This specific show also proved an important event in Tejada’s career as he began making the three-dimensional works in wood that would become a mainstay of his visual language. The twenty-six works in this show at the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá in 1965 had previously been exhibited at the Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, in Cali, and would be subsequently shown at the Galería Siglo XX in Quito, Ecuador.