Colombian caricaturist, writer, and art critic Jorge Moreno Clavijo (b. 1921) formulates a poignant question about the state of Colombian art in 1946. Though at that historical moment some artists were veering towards abstraction and other tendencies linked to the early 20th century international avant-gardes, painter León Cano is the only person quoted in the article who makes reference to those trends, which he deems unhealthy.
In the view of Erwin Krauss, Gonzalo Ariza (1912–1995), and Luis Vidales (1900–1990), the constant “state of development” of Colombian art places it on the same level as production from other Latin American countries with major international figures. In the view of Miguel Díaz Vargas (1886–1956), such artists exist thanks to public support.
The key opinions, though, are voiced by Luis Benito Ramos (1899−1955), Luis Alberto Acuña (1904–1984), and Alipio Jaramillo (1913−1999), for whom Colombian art was not in a state of decline, but in the process of taking shape. Those three painters—along with Ignacio Gómez Jaramillo (1910–1970) and Pedro Nel Gómez (1899–1984)—were fundamental to the development of muralism in Colombia in the thirties; they were also at the forefront of technical and thematic innovation. The production of those artists evidenced the influence of both Expressionism and Mexican muralism. Its themes revolved around the origin of the nation, the return of Indianism, and recognition of Colombia as a mestizo nation. Together, those themes yielded art with a more open and inclusive vision that heeded the country and its characteristics and, as such, stood in marked contrast to the stately art and Neo-Costumbrismo of prior decades.
Moreno Clavijo has depicted key figures in Colombian politics and current events. As an art critic, he has defended the construction of a national art rich in local references, from 19th century Costumbrismo to art from the sixties.