Item description for Ana Mercedes Hoyos: Palenque Culture by Eduardo Serrano...
As the Colombian art critic Eduardo Serrano notes, "the painting of Ana Mercedes Hoyos combines a reasoning about culture and society with a voluptuous and penetrating gaze and great technical mastery. In nominal terms, the early paintings of her most recent stage may be categorized as still lifes, in that they usually portray splendid bowls of tropical fruit. But, in contrast with traditional still life, her paintings not only reveal the mediation of photography and have an open air setting, they are also a testimony about the life, values and aesthetic predilections of Afro-Colombians, an ethnic group which has made a valuable contribution to the country's culture but has only drawn the sporadic attention of its artists up to now, most notably in the work of Guillermo Wiedemann."
"These landscapes are, moreover, only a facet of her study of the customs of San Basilio de Palenque, an Afro-Colombian district of the fabled Spanish Colonial city of Cartagena. She has also portrayed their community festivals, processions and games, their men's passionate devotion to boxing and soccer, and, most of all, the elegant style of their women-- the way they dress when they go to the marketplace, sell fruit to tourists on the beach or take part in their native festivals. Each still life is a representation of the world of the woman who inspires it-- Zenaida, Arlina or Dominga-- for whom the pile of fruit is a tool of work whose composition reflects a vast accumulation of ancestral knowledge and inclinations...This testimonial aspect is, then, the objective that Ana Mercedes vehemently seeks in her painting, but there can be no doubt that both her unconventional composition and the smooth, polished finish of her canvasses are what give such a strong impact to her work. They reveal her power to absorb the attention of the spectator, to make him ponder her images: they are the key to their effectiveness as documents."
Villegas Editores takes great satisfaction in presenting the recent work of Ana Mercedes in this book. Its publication is our latest effort to divulge the grandeur of Colombian art, a task which has been a central concern of the firm since its foundation.
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Art critic Eduardo Serrano Rueda has been the curator of several museums and collections and has organized exhibitions for museums in New York, Paris, Seville, and many Latin American cities. Among his books are: Cien Anos de Arte Colombiano (A Hundred Years of Colombian Art, 1985), Once Maestros de la pintura Andina (Eleven Masters of Andean painting, 1997), and Ana Mercedes Hoyos (2001).