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Primitivism and Popular Art

Primitivism and Popular Art

Article by: Santiago Londono Velez
Cover Article: Noé León

In contrast to the approaches of abstract artists, closely related to the industrialized, technical and dehumanized world, interest arose in naivety, in unconventionality , in the unsuspecting joy of the primitive world. This is how painters such as Noé León (1907-1978) appeared, who at the time enjoyed great reception in the national and international market. Discovered by Alejandro Obregón , in his beginnings he was a spontaneous painter of variegated details and profuse color, who reflected in his paintings the carefree and happy world of the Caribbean coast, as seen in Juan B. Elbers (1965) or in Tigre hunting sabanera (1965). Little by little it became more cultured and decorative and adopted elements from the “Customs Officer” Rousseau (1844-1910), considered the paradigm of primitive painting, as can be seen in the oil painting Accident on the Road (1971).

Colombian Art Noah Leon
(Ocaña, Norte de Santander, 1907 - Barranquilla, Atlántico, 1978)
Tiger hunting savannah . 1965
Oil on cardboard. 50.0 x 62.0cm
Bank of the Republic Collection

María Villa (1909-1991) began practicing painting when she was approaching sixty years of age. With bright colors and abrupt brushstrokes that did not meet academic rigor, he expressed the contradictory world of the peasants settled in the city and their religious mythology . MarcoTulio Villalobos (1911-1980) was a worker who found in painting a medium with which he recreated, among other diverse motifs, scenes from the country's history, characterized by their sober and muted colors. Sofía Urrutia (ca. 1912), educated in Switzerland and Paris, produced a cultured work, in which she consciously chose primitivism as her style.

Alicia Cajiao (1923) practiced primitivism early. H ernando Tejada (1925-1998), halfway between art and craft, proposed a set of furniture-objects with naive and humorous content. Luis Fonseca (1928) was first a police officer and then dedicated himself to art; With his simple images and overflowing color, he translated the magical realism of different scenes from the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude , as in Pietro Crespi teaches Rebeca and Amaranta to dance under the watch of Úrsula (1970). For his part, Antonio Samudio (1934), without being primitivist in the conventional sense of the term, practices a deliberately naive art both in style and theme, in which he emphasizes the volume of objects and figures, and introduces humor and a palette defined by chromatic neutrality.

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