This brief article is part of a compilation where specialists in different fields (law, economics, politics, and culture) analyze the situation in Colombia at the end of the 20th century, proposing options for development as well as possible solutions to the most pressing problems facing the country. The title of the book is Colombia hoy: Perspectivas hacia el siglo XXI. Rubiano Caballero’s text, which appears at the end of the first section, is entitled “Colombia hoy.” It speaks of major milestones in the development of Modern art in the country and, as such, constitutes a valuable source for researchers working on 20th-century Colombian art.
Rubiano Caballero provides a great deal of information as well as a clear and well documented overview of his topic. He not only mentions the most important artists and works, but also analyzes them in a broader framework that considers, among other things, events like the founding of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá and the launching of art publications, specifically in the seventies.
The article, which is geared to a wide audience, is encyclopedic in nature; it does not provide in-depth discussions. Nonetheless, Rubiano Caballero’s narrative of events is clearly structured according to certain criteria. The opposition between figuration and abstraction, for instance, is used to address each of the decades. For each decade, the author presents first abstract artists (in painting and in sculpture) and then their figurative peers. He also discusses which tendency predominated during a given period. In short, this is one of the most thorough historical reconstructions of Modern art in Colombia and, hence, indispensable to a comprehensive and contemporary approach to that topic.