Contemporary Colombian Painting Juan Antonio Roda and Luis Caballero


October 27, 1998


The Art Museum of the Americas is pleased to announce the presentation of Contemporary Colombian painters Juan Antonio Roda, Luis Caballero, from October 29 through November 15, 1998. The exhibit is made up of a selection of twenty large-scale canvas paintings corresponding to the latest works of two prolific contemporary Colombian artists: Juan Antonio Roda, born in Spain in 1921 and resident of Colombia from 1955; and Luis Caballero (Bogota, 1943-1995.)

Colombian President Andrés Pastrana Arango will inaugurate the exhibition during his official visit to Washington, DC. Eleven oil on canvas works by Juan Antonio Roda will be exhibited, showing his most recent series--The Logic of the Tropic (painted between 1996 and 1998); and four charcoal drawings on canvas, and four large-scale oils on canvas by Luis Caballero between 1990 and 1991, towards the end of his artistic career.

Juan Antonio Roda, along with Fernando Botero, is the most important living Colombian artist. His recent works bring him closer to abstract expressionism. Two of the most important elements that determine his work are the dramatism of the classical Spanish painting that marks his roots and encounters the tropics. Roda is a teacher of several generations of artists, among them Luis Caballero. As an engraver, sketcher and painter, his extensive work was filled with energy.

Master of rigor, of potency, of peace; his paintings are full of feelings that emerge from each texture, brushstroke, and color laid on the canvas. The oil paintings shown in this exhibit reflect

how emotional he is. All his serenity and strength are materialized in each one of them. Roda is the creator of a universe far from any tendency, tied only to his own freedom.


Luis Caballero is one of the most important Latin American sketchers of this century. He died at the age of fifty, after sketching and painting violence and male homosexuality for over three decades, against the true path of Western art. He started with the Baconian expressionism and ascended to romanticism and mannerism until he reached his freedom: Michelangelo.

His work, parallel to artists like Lucian Freud and David Hockney, is a powerful, tense, and natural talent that is dominated and controlled by rigor; not only by the technical rigor, but, above all, by his intellectual rigor. He draws like a sculptor but was never dedicated to sculpting, and his painting, of a sketcher seeking the aesthetic shape to turn into a transmitter of sensation going between extreme delight to pain, between ecstasy and death.

Luis Caballero's work is the most dramatic and moving in Colombian Art. His individual testimony has no Paragon. Voluptuousness, desire, body immolation, love, ecstasy and epic sensitivity are his alone. His work, full of authenticity, building around him an inter-related art in one absolute individual art, exercised in isolation and solitude. That is why the concept of confession has been used to identify his painting.


The Art Museum of the Americas

The Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States was established in 1976 by resolution of the OAS Permanent Council in tribute of the two-hundredth anniversary of the Independence of the United States. The Museum seeks to preserve, study, and exhibit works by outstanding artists and carry out other activities of an educational nature which will increase understanding and appreciation of these cultures. Location: 201 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC (one block from Constitution Hall.) Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Group tours by appointment only, please call (202) 458-6301.