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Simón BolívarTravels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon$
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Maureen G. Shanahan and Ana María Reyes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062624

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062624.001.0001

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In Bed with Dead Bolívar

In Bed with Dead Bolívar

Beatriz González’s Case for Critical History Painting

Chapter:
(p.148) 8 In Bed with Dead Bolívar
Source:
Simón Bolívar
Author(s):

Ana María Reyes

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062624.003.0009

This article focuses on two Bolívarian works made by the Colombian artist Beatriz González: the diptych Apuntes para una historia Extensa Tomo I y II (1967) and the bed assemblage Mutis por el Foro (1973). Reyes contextualizes these artworks and their critical responses in a pregnant moment in Colombian history when Simón Bolívar was becoming unhinged from the Conservative party and was floating as an unstable signifier before the icon became rehinged onto a revolutionary leftist platform by leftist guerrillas. The indignant responses to González’s treatment of the prócer in materials saturated with popular referents revealed the social anxieties concerning cultural legitimacy. González’s Bolívarian works revitalized contemporary history painting, being neither the falsified and decorous official versions nor its complete disavowal through abstraction, which has served as evidence of Latin American modernity in the international art circuit, but rather a critical re-vision.

Keywords:   Beatriz Gonzalez, Apuntes para una Historia Extensa (1967), Mutis por el Foro (1973), history painting, Colombia

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