About the artist:
Alvaro Herran has submitted his work to an unusual rigor, a most admirable discipline if it is understood that such rigor has the purpose of shaking the principles that inform a certain way of conceiving the plastic creation. For example, with respect to his mural art. Marta Traba said that this was "a necessary fact for which the muralist in Colombia would get rid once and for all of the mediocrities and damages". By this he meant that the walls would no longer embrace themes, gestures and supposedly American attitudes but eminently plastic elements. His way of interpreting "informalism", abstraction, in short, painting, ultimately obeys a personal need rather than the desire to be fashionable. Apart from the above, Herrán successfully negotiates a difficult dilemma; the one that exists between nature art, since its work is not a negotiation of this one but a lucid and respectful transgression realized with the complicity of a masterful handling of the chosen plastic instruments. The elements that make his work one of the most expectant among the abstract work made in the country converge in this work. The admirable mixture of geometric and lyrical make this alternative invalid. On the other hand, the lights and shadows, although alien to the notion that make them constitutive elements of the academic pictorial space, definitely create it, thus making the space an autonomous reality of the vision that man can perceive in his daily occurrence. All this reinforced by the lucid distribution of colors, shades, tones and lines. Cali Valley. 1937 STUDIES He started in painting studying and observing the works of the great masters. EXHIBITIONS 1957 - September. He participated in the X Salon of Colombian Artists with the oil "Dúo". 1958 - September. He participated in the XI Salon of Colombian Artists with the oil "Element to build a dream". 1959 - September. Participated in the XII Salon of Colombian Artists with the oil "Painting number 29". 1961 - March. He made his first solo exhibition at the Society of Friends of the Country. There he presented 16 works "Informalists". 1961 - Participated in the XIII Salon of Colombian Artists with two "Informalist" paintings. 1961 - August 27. He exhibited 16 tempera paints and 3 oil paintings at the Librería Francesa de Bogotá. There the artist began to make essays on color. 1961 - Traveled to Europe. 1962 - July. He participated with 3 oil paintings at the XIV Colombian Artists Salon. There he presented large blue or red surfaces with isolated areas where he showed himself as an abstract painter. 1962 - November 29. He made an individual exhibition at the El Callejón Gallery in Bogotá. 1963 - February. He participated in the Colombian Paintings Exhibition that took place in the galleries of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and then in the several cities of the United States. 1963 - August 4. He participated in the exhibition El Siglo XX and the Painting in Colombia that took place in the National Museum, Bogotá. 1963 - October 18. Participated in the XV Salon of Colombian Artists with the work "Pintura 63". 1963 - October 29. He made an individual exhibition at the Luis Ángel Arango Library. 1964 - June 17. He presented 20 monotypes, inspired by the poems of the Grifo by José Pubén, in the Gregorio Vásquez Room of the National Library of Bogotá. 1964 - August. He won the second prize in sculpture at the 1 Intercol Salon of Young Artists, Bogotá. 1964 - October. He made a mural at Banco Comercial Antioqueño in Bogotá, and executed another mural relief at the Bank of the Republic in Armenia. 1964 - October 20. He won the "Carlos Dupuy" painting prize at the XVI Salón de Artistas Colombianos for his work "Los elementos del Agua". There he also presented a metal sculpture. 1964 - December. He made an exhibition in the National Library of Bogotá where he presented paintings with illustrative paintings of the poems of José Puben. 1965 - September. He participated in a group exhibition that took place in the Colseguros Gallery in Bogotá. 1965 - 1966 He executed the following murals: Banco de la República in Neiva, and Banco de Bogotá in Cúcuta. 1966 - February. He participated in the exhibition of 6 Colombian sculptors that took place in the Luis Ángel Arango Library in Bogotá. 1966 - March. He exhibited at the Colseguros Gallery in Bogotá. 1966 - October. Participated in the XVIII Salon of Colombian Artists with the sculpture "A Hernando Téllez", which won an honorable mention. 1966 - Participated in the "Latin America Since Independence" Exhibition held at the Art Gallery University of Yale University. 1966 - He made the following exhibitions in the United States: Art Museum of the Uníversidad of Texas; San Francisco Museum of Art; La Jolla Museum of Art; and the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art in New Orleans. 1967 - Wrote a novel entitled "Tempore Bellis" and a book of Stories but did not publish them. 1968 - Exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts of Caracas. 1969 - April. An acrylic participated in the XX Salon of Colombian Artists. 1969 - July. He exhibited in El Callejón de Bogotá. 1969 - September. He made an individual exhibition at the House of Culture in Bogotá. 1970 - Participated in the II Coltejer Biennial of Medellín with a mural. 1970 - October. Participated in the XXI Salon of Colombian Artists with the plaster sculpture "El Pelele". 1972 - November. He participated in the I National Salon of Jorge Tadeo Lozano with the acrylic "In Memoriam Alvaro Cepeda". 1977 - July. He participated in an exhibition at La Gaserie de Bogotá. Alvaro Herrán began in art as an Informalist painter. Later he cultivated the abstract painting in which he tried different techniques. Then he worked as a sculptor and made several reliefs in which he used bronze pipes. WORKS: MURALS In the branches of the Bank of the Republic in Armenia and Neiva. In Banco Comercial Antioqueño, Bogotá (6 meters by 2.85 m. "The elements in the water"). In the Banco de Bogotá, Cúcuta. PAINTINGS Luis Ángel Arango Library, Bogotá; Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá; Collection of Enrique Valcárcel, Bogotá; Innercol Collection, Bogotá. In the United States they have his works: School of Art Architecture, Yale University, Museum of the Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Sandburg Institute, Miami, Florida; Henry Valcárcel, New York; Mr. Dames, Yale. In Europe: Charles Serex, Basel, Switzerland. Ake Burchardt, Stockholm, Sweden. Víctor Pape, Spain.