Ana Mercedes Hoyos

Born in 1942, in Bogota, Columbia


Ana Mercedes Hoyos was one of the most important representatives of Colombian art, whose work ranged from abstractionism to realism, and from figurative to geometrical art. Her consistent creative work allowed her to receive public recognition at a national and international level.

Ana Mercedes Hoyoswas born in Bogotá in 1942. She began her journey through the world of art from an early age by traveling around Europewith her parents, and visiting the most important museums in the world. She ultimately became familiar with all the great historical artworks. 

Her foray as an artist took place in the sixties. While being a student at Universidad de los Andes (and the disciple of the critic and scholar Marta Traba), she was profoundly influenced by the Pop Art movement that absorbed the attention of many artists of the time. At this stage, she produced a series of billboards paintings, which reaffirm her penchant for the themes of commercial consumerism and color planimetry as present in Pop Art.

In her subsequent paintings made in the late sixties, she makes references to architecture, an interest inherited from her father. Her concerns with the geometric and constructive forms prevailed in the series Ventanas (Windows). In it, the management of color can be seen in the approach to the shadows and the semi-darkness, through which she explores space. This interest would then take her, during the seventies, to approach the opening space of the window. She focused on the printed space beyond the geometry to reduce the architectural reference on the canvasses itself; only represent the sky, or even better, the framing of the firmament, which was practically white, although it was possible to identify some bluish tones, with some effort. This body of work that the artist called Atmósferas (Atmospheres)constitutes her minimalist stage. With it, she won First Prize in the National Artists Salon of 1978.

Gradually, Hoyos would move away from the inflexibility of modern movements to return to figurative painting and the use of representation. The first paintings she made after Atmósferas are works in which the geometry play a major role and where the curved line expresses itself. In the early eighties, Ana Mercedesturns her sights to the soil, giving importance to the line of the horizon. The series known as Paisajes (Landscapes)involves the emergence of color.

By the mid-eighties, her approach to the idea of the still life after Ventanas, Atmósferas and Paisajes is inspired by major artists of art history such as Caravaggio, Zurbarán, Van Gogh, Jawlensky and Lichtenstein. This body of work includes Girasoles (Sunflowers), with which she pays homage to Van Gogh, el Primer Bodegón en la Historia del Arte (the First Still Life in Art History), to Caravaggio, and el Gran Desconocido (the Great Unknown), which honors Jawlensky.

Subsequently, there is a conceptual shift, which happens by accident during a family trip to Cartagena. Her first encounter with which would later become the core of her work took place at the tourist beaches and the Bazurto market; The Palangana, the metal and circular basin, full of fruit, which are arranged in balance. According to the artist, the organization of the container matched the research on constructivism and cubism that she was conducting during her review of the history of art. Ever since that moment, a strong relationship would grow between Ana Mercedes Hoyos and the community of San Basilio de Palenque.


Thus, as of 1986 and supported by photographic images she took, the stage of the Bodegones de Palenque (Still Lifes of Palenque)began, where the interpretation of the containers of fruit or basins would become the central focus of her work. In them, the incidence and careful arrangement of light, the fragmented analytical compositions where geometry becomes essential, and other subtle and suggestive arrangements of color, are able to imprint, on each fruit basin, on her bazurtos or on the celebrations, an indisputable ingredient of existence.


These still lifes are just the beginning of the investigation conducted by Ana Mercedes Hoyos, where her works will explore the customs of the palenqueros such as boxing, community games from which the Vara de Premio is derived, as well as the procession parades and celebrations where the colored dresses of women stand out.


Later, Ana Mercedes fixed her attention on the outfits that the young girls wear during the processions and celebrations, especially the bows. These are presented as an illustration of a universe in which, the returning to the synthesis of geometry and color, are distinctive cultural elements that symbolize freedom, friendship and solidarity gathered with the union of the two bows.


Ana Mercedes Hoyos’paintings belong to a Latin American collective imagination and reveal an attitude and approach to the race and black culture that is completely different. Her works are a thoughtful look and a testimony of life of these communities, which were initially included in the history of Colombian Art by Guillermo Wiedemann and found a voice in the different generations of Colombian artists.





Selected Solo Exhibitions


   Ana Mercedes Hoyos: Abstracción Convergente , Nueveochenta Gallery, Colombia, Bogota

   Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Nueveochenta Gallery, Colombia, Bogota

   Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Addison/Ripley Gallery, USA, Georgetown


Selected Group Exhibitions

2015  Folding: Line, Space & Body/ Latin American Women Artists Working Around Abstraction, Henrique Faria, New York, USA, Upper East Side

Selected Exhibitions

1968  Environmental Spaces, Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá

1970  Erotic Art, Galería Belarca, Bogotá

1970  Salon of the Americas, Museo La Terulia, Cali, Colombia

1971  Graphic Artists of Colombia, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá

1972  Institute of Latin American Art, Santiago, Chile

1972  Biennial Exhibition, House of the Americas, Havana, Cuba

1974  Galería Belarca, Bogotá

1975  1900-1975: Landscape, Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá

1976  Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá

1977  X Paris Biennial, Paris

1977  New people of the World, Bogotá National Museum, Bogotá

1978  Art Now III: Latin America – Sensible Geometry, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1978  Eugenio Mendoza Foundation, Caracas, Venezuela

1978  Galería San Diego, Bogotá

1979  Galería Belarca, Bogotá

1979  La Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1979  II Biennial Painting Exhibition, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, France

1979  Prints and Drawings of Colombia, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá

1979  XI International Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

1980  Premio, Dibujo Miró, La Fundacion Miró, Barcelona

1980  Canvases from Five Artists, Galería San Diego, Bogotá

1980  Panama Institute of Art, Panama City, Panama

1980  Galería Condor, Barranquilla, Colombia

1981  Centro Colombo-Americano, Bogotá

1981  Inaugural Exhibition, Galería Santa Fe, Bogotá

1981  El Paisaje Liberrimo, National Art Gallery, Caracas, Venezuela

1981  IV Biennial Art Exhibition of Medellin, Medllin, Colombia

1982  Contemporary Colombian Graphics, Colombian Embassy, Bonn, Germany

1982  Colombian Art From the Sixties, Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá

1982  American Relations of New York, New York

1983  Art from the Workshops, Art From the Streets, School of Fine Arts, Paris

Colombian Paintings, Cultural Agenda on Colombia, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico

1984  1st Biennial of Havana, Havana, Cuba

Colombia: Half a Century of Painting and Sculpture, National Anthropological Museum, Mexico City, Mexico

1984  Galería Garces Velasquez, Bogotá

1985  Galeria Confamiliar, Barranquilla, Colombia

1985  XVIII International Biennial of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

1985  A Vision of Colombia, Santillana Foundation, Santillana del Mar, Spain

1985  One Hundred Years of Colombian Art, Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá

1986  National Press Club, Washington, D. C.

1986  Abstract Vision, MOCHA New York, New York

1987  Galería Alfred Wild, Bogotá

1988  Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá

1988  Museo La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

1989  Galería El Museo, Bogotá

1989  6 at 6: Contemporary Colombian Art, Rempire Gallery, New York

1989  Women Artists, Galería Alfred Wild, Bogotá

1990  Rempire Gallery, New York

1990  Colombian Art, Fuji Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo

1990  Rempire Gallery, New York

1991  Rempire Gallery, New York

1991  Galería Epoca, Santiago, Chile     

1991  National Museum Colculture, Colombia

1991  Galeria Espacio San Salvador, El Salvador

1991  Colombian Center, Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN, New York

1991  Three Colombian Artists, Museum of Modern Art, Cali, Colombia

1992  Galeria Espacio San Salvador, El Salvador

1992  Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1992  Galería Alfred Wild, Bogotá

1992  Colombian Contemporary Art, Expo Sevilla 92, Seville, Spain

1992  Galería El Museo, Bogotá

 1993  Galería Fernando Quintana, Bogotá

 1993  Galeria Ramis F. Barquet, Monterrey, Mexico

 1993  Museo Reyo, Roldanillo, Colombia

 1993  Yoshii Gallery, New York

1994  Casa de la Cultura de Mexico, Bogotá

1994  Galería Tovar y Tovar, Bogotá

1994  Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan

1995  Associated American Artists, New York

1995  Latin American Women Artists 1915-1995

1995  The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.