"The proliferation and diffusion of mestizo themes have become universal...Drawing on the historical and cultural reality of Colombia and in the best Latin American tradition, Ana Mercedes Hoyos develops her work in the labyrinth of pictorial crossbreeding-- a crossbreeding of images." In these words from the thrilling critical essay that opens this book, Ángel Kalenberg describes the evolution of this great Colombian artist and her place in world art.
This book, which represents the first comprehensive retrospective show of her painting and sculpture ever published, confirms his judgement.
It deals with a distinguished career which led the Colombian artist from her early stage of "windows" and "doors" to a series of "atmospheres," in which she seems to leap through the frames of her earlier paintings to find herself before the light that is on the other side and was merely hinted at before. The white canvases of her "atmospheres"-- luminous, sparkling and full of matter-- in turn fulfill their cycle, opening the way for a further stage which is marked by the recuperation of the object and a new and fresh approach to nature. This is the moment when her daring and unrestrained "sunflowers" appear, whose pigmentation follows the line of the great, visceral colorists, like Van Gogh and Gauguin, who define a realm where chromatic values rule with the same rights and duties as form. These give way to her recent work, which features colorful still lifes inspired by the Afro-Colombian women fruit-vendors from San Basilio de Palenque, who, with their bowls of fruit gracefully balanced on their heads, form a picturesque sight on the beaches of the fabled Caribbean port of Cartagena. In her current stage we also observe her passionate interest in the culture of this fascinating ethnic group, whose personages and customs absorb her interest and fill her canvases.
As this retrospective clearly shows, every stage of the work of Ana Mercedes is a testimony to her passion for her calling and her strong commitment to the world in which she lives.