It was not until the 1950's that Colombian artist showed their artwork to the nation and their skill behind it. Colombian artist began to rise like Alejandro Obregon, Enrique Grau, Edgar Negret and Eduardo Ramirez Villamizar- began to take new direction in the Colombian art world and also had a major influence on it too. The delay of Colombian art can be explained by the region's complex geography. Mountain barriers have said to separate the human settlement from others. Even after the independence from Spain in 1819, art didn't have a major influence on Colombian lifestyle. Then in the 1920's is when several outstanding sculptors, notably Marco Tobon Mejia and Jose Horacio Betancur. Influenced by Mexican art, this group of several sculptors from the city of Medellin created the second greatest mural movement in the Americas. From this the Colombian art world was introduced to new ideas and techniques.
Prior to World War II, Colombia was at its climax with the strongest democratic traditions in Latin America. But in the early 1940's social problems developed and created a loss of interest in Colombian art style, which directed many Colombian artists to study foreign artworks. This lead Colombian artist to show different styles of art like in 1944, the influence of Post-Impressionist and of the French academic style came to Colombian. Also another group of Colombians divided off to study the
techniques of Mexican muralist, a style that is shown in many pieces done at this point in time. In the 1950's Colombian art changed directions and finally Colombian artist got interested on new viewpoint on Western and native elements of art. All these influences in Colombian art, which concludes to the adoption of the aesthetic principles of 20th century art.
Until the mid century, Colombian painting and sculptures showed a wide range of figurative styles, but very little use of abstraction. While some artworks were very modern, a few of them were relatively simple compared with the art in Europe and the U.S. Many artist combined European tendencies such as cubism and geometric abstraction, for an example, artist Carlos Correa in the artwork Still Life in Silence. This piece shows the influence of cubism and geometric abstraction. This Colombian style is still in the Colombian art world today. The artist Pedro Nel Gomez, major influence on the art world which practiced drawing, oil painting, fresco, watercolors, sculptor in wood and stone, and bronze casting. Gomez in Self-Portrait in a Hat, shows his common style with works of Gauguin and Van Gogh. Gomez was one of those artist that influenced a major part of the Colombian art world. Another one is Alejandro Obregon, he was above all the other painters. In the piece called Still Life in Yellow, Obregon shows his personal style was fully developed, and was very familiar with the formal elements in the art world. His art pieces are usually divided into two and have different size or value but equal in visual power.
Color plays a major role in his structures of his unique design, first in geometric forms and then in controlled expressionism. In Obregon artwork, he shows a common style of Picasso, as well as Englishman Graham Sutherland. One successful painter named Igancio Gomez Jaramillo, could be called a modernist by today's standards. In his work Portrait of the Greiff Brothers and Nude shows his love for the native land and the Colombian themes. Jaramillo achieved high aesthetic standards in the art world.
This paper has a major influence on me because it gives me more knowledge on the art works in my ethnic background. It shows me how my culture went from living in a complex geography to adapting and catching up to the art world today. Now I can look at a Colombian work of art and understand the background of it and where it is coming from. I think artwork that come out of Colombia has a major influence on people because of the lack in there art world and how Colombia just adopted this style over generations and independently. Also it makes it easier to understand how strong my culture is and they never gave up but keep searching to find a style of art that matched their culture. Colombian art comes in many styles for insistence impressionism, expressionism and cubism, all of these styles meet the artist and challenged them to latter part the century and develop a unique Colombian style. Colombian art now is recognized as universal and very appealing.