As an independent initiative in Colombian art history, María Teresa Guerrero (b. 1941), and Ivonne Pini, the Uruguayan based in Colombia, undertook a major research project titled “La experimentación en el arte colombiano del siglo XX.” Interested in recovering the approaches that represented the beginning and development of Conceptual art in Colombia, the two historians studied the artists and works closest to approaches of this type. Even when they were not explicit, these artists and the work set a clearly defined precedent for the next generation. Undoubtedly, it was their three-dimensional work that stimulated a period of experimentation with new materials; this becomes evident in the chapter summarized here.
Throughout the document, Guerrero and Pini inform us that in Colombia, what happened first was experimentation with materials, which did not necessarily mean a change in terms of a conceptual point of view. Later, there was a period when the idea of the “concept” underlying a work became the key to laying the foundation that would lead to an art of process, action, art with cheap materials, and new geometric experiments, etc. As shown in this chapter, the beginnings of experimentation provide a useful diagram of the visual arts approaches that represented the moment of transition referred to earlier in this discussion. It is also useful in that it allows the reader a glimpse of the independence with which each artist rendered his work; in other words, it is impossible to find similarities in the forms that resulted from these experiments. We know that in Colombia there were few artists’ groups or collectives; therefore, only in the 1970s would there be approaches such as those of El Sindicato or Grupo 44, both referred to in the section “El arte colombiano busca el concepto” [see 1130950], which concludes the Guerrero/Pini research project.
Ivonne Pini is an art historian who has specialized in Latin America. She is a professor and researcher as well as the executive editor of the journal Arte en Colombia. Her best-known publications are: Fragmentos de memoria, los artistas latinoamericanos piensan el pasado (2001), and En busca de lo propio: inicios de la modernidad en el arte de Cuba, México, Uruguay y Colombia (2000). In turn, in 1982, María Teresa Guerrero organized the Textiles and Artistic Workshops Program at the Universidad de Los Andes. She is the author of the book Historia del arte textil contemporáneo en Colombia, among other publications, and was assistant director of the Galería Santa Fe. As of 2010, she was still active in both art research and curating exhibitions.