TILBURG.- De Pont Museum
announced the acquisition of an ensemble of paintings, drawings and prints by the Colombian artist Beatriz González (Bucaramanga, Colombia, 1932). González is a seminal figure in Colombian art and is considered one of Latin America's most important artists. She has inspired many with her work, also via her capacities as a teacher, curator and writer.
Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen, De Pont's director: 'Since I first visited Beatriz González at her studio in Bogotá in 2016, her work has continued to captivate me. In her paintings, drawings, prints and furniture, she comments on the political and social issues in her country and keeps alive memories of events that remain concealed in the official record of history. González's images become etched in one's memory. I find it exceptional that the museum has been able to acquire this group of works during a nearly two-year dialogue with the artist.
The works now coming to De Pont are among the key pieces produced by González over the past twenty years. This is a welcome expansion of the collection that broadens our outlook on art from Europe and the United States.'
The ensemble in De Pont's collection has been composed in relation to the themes of migration, missing people and collective grief. A central work is Cargueros de Bucaramanga (2006), an eight-meter-wide painted textile frieze. Here, in a hushed and incisive manner, the artist makes the violence in her home country palpable by depicting a procession of carriers (cargueros). Their heavy burdens hang from long sticks held across their shoulders. These are black silhouettes, which blur into the darkness halfway through the frieze and then continue thereafter as white cut-outs in the dark: as though this carrying goes on day and night, without end. The shock is relentless when we realize that the 'cargo' being transported here is dead bodies.
The frieze, a principal work in González's oeuvre, partly served as the basis for her famous installation realized in public space in Bogotá in 2009: Auras Anónimas. In the disused niches of the colombarium at Bogotá's central cemetery, she introduced thousands of black 'carrier' silhouettes.
González has had exhibitions at museums in Latin America, the United States, Europe and Japan. In 2011 Museo de Arte Moderno in Medellín held an extensive retrospective of her work titled Beatriz González: La comedia y la tragedia. In 2017 a retrospective exhibition travelled to CAPC Bordeaux, KunstWerke in Berlin and the Reina Sofía in Madrid. In 2019 she had a retrospective at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. In 2020 this exhibition was shown at the Centro Cultural de Bogotá, Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia (MAMU).
In 2014 González's work was on view at the 8th Berlin Biennale. In 2015 she took part in the group exhibition The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern in London and in the group exhibition Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 19601980 at the MoMA, New York. In 2017 she participated in documenta 14, held in Athens and Kassel. In 2017 and 2018 her work was included in the group exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art, 19601985 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Pinacoteca de São Paulo. In 2021 she took part in the exhibition Another Energy: 16 Women Artists from around the World at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.
The work of Gonzalez is in four collections in Bogotá, Colombia: Museo Nacional de Colombia, Colleción de Arte del Banco de la República, Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional and Museo de Arte Moderno. Her work is also at Suramericana de Seguros, Medellín; Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellín; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela; Museum of Modern Art, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.