Moving Between Nature


Eduardo Serrano

Margarita Lozano is considered one of the most consistent artists in Colombia’s artistic scene. Over the last seven decades, her work has remained loyal not only to its themes, but also, and, in particular, to its definitions and values. The same conviction which encouraged her childhood explorations, the same creative motivation which drove her from an early age, to seek, using her pencils and brushes, the expression of her appreciations about the world and the same desire to produce aesthetic pleasure, have remained as immovable pillars of her art work, granting her work a type of cohesion and unity, which are difficult to match in the national artistic panorama.

This, however, does not imply that Margarita Lozano’s work has remained static during seventy years, nor that differences do not exist between pieces of one period and another, or even between canvases of the same period. On the contrary, each of her pieces, despite emerging from the historical principles which have guided her production, accumulate a succession of considerations and of thematic, chromatic, formal, emotional and sentimental reflections, which contribute to the production of original, unique and independent images.

Her work has seen a clear evolution over the years. This is made evident when viewing her first pieces, carefully depicted, but without boasting experimental techniques, the orientation, gestures and spontaneity of her later work, also in the way she subsequently alters reality, likewise in the use of color and her clear admiration for the world’s maestros during the different periods of the History of Art.

We must not forget that the artist was born in Paris during the time when artistic movements were being established after the impressionist movement, and that Paris, due to those movements, had become the art capital of the world. Two decades later, Margarita Lozano familiarized herself with art and, in particular, with painting. In Paris and later, in Rome, she had the opportunity to directly appreciate the work of great masters, as well as being able to attend prestigious academies in which she learnt about different techniques, used in artistic representations during the mid 20th century.

No doubt, this being the main reason why, as we appreciate Margarita Lozano’s work, memories and associations are triggered among art connoisseurs, which, although none are quite connected, none are identifiable with previous work, none specifically close to the work of other artists, nonetheless, allow us to evoke, because of their spirit and character, those moments in which modernism began, the great height of painting, of important and moving artistic expressions and of an intense historical creativity, which has remained to date, as one of the most fascinating periods of the History of Art.

Without a doubt, Margarita Lozano has been a privileged artist, who was able to witness, value and admire, not only through books and reproductions, (when, at the time, this alternative did not exist for Latin American artists who were so far removed from the History of Art between the early colonial times until the middle of the 20th Century) some of the major changes which were happening in the advent of painting. The artist lived through the artistic transformations of the first half of the 20th Century. However, that privilege, instead of it being a merit in Colombia for having assimilated and having introduced new approaches of modernism, was poorly regarded by the art critics at the time who did not consider it valid for a young woman from Bogota’s society to be interested in art. 

It is clear that the young artist did not choose the social strata into which she was born; one which surrounded her with affection and the support of family members, who, undoubtedly contributed to instilling the necessary confidence which led her to becoming an artist. What Margarita Lozano was able to choose for herself, within the broad spectrum of possibilities which emerged for painting during the middle of the 20th Century, and which she chose decisively and with clarity, were the chromatic, formal and compositional objects which distinguish her work, conferring upon her a distinctive nature and identity.

Amongst the possibilities which opened up for artists during that period and which appealed enormously to Margarita Lozano include: the interest in Nabis painters (for their domestic themes and the subtle deformations of reality they painted as a result of the emotions which these subjects represented), the provocative use of color which Fauve artists adopted and the dedication to three main themes: still life, portraits and landscapes. 

For all of the above reasons, one could claim that Margarita Lozano’s work introduced in Colombia important aspects of the different movements which had emerged and which followed the creative purposes initiated by the impressionists, made known in Colombia through the work of Andrés de Santa María. However, Margarita Lozano’s work is closer to expressionism, not so much in the sense of its gestures, which generally are associated with this movement, but in the sense of altering reality to imbue its representations with its distinguishing sentiments and emotions towards nature.