The title Muestrario [Sampler] alludes to the intrinsic properties of Suárez Londoño's work, marked by his zeal for compilation and classification, as well as to the variety of media and formats found in the exhibition. Over 1,000 works, including drawings, prints, stamps, travel journals and yearbooks, lure us into the author's highly personal labyrinth.
The loose and bound drawings, prints and stamps produced by Suárez Londoño between the 1970s and the present day form a dauntingly vast body of work of surprising quality and variety. This fundamental, perennially independent artist is a prominent figure on the Colombian art scene, despite his determination to keep a low profile, and a role model for new generations of Colombian artists who now embrace drawing as an essential tool of their profession.
Suárez Londoño's constant daily undertaking is an exceptional praxis, a kind of inventory of the world and private diary rolled into one. It is hard to tell if each drawing is an independent piece or if there is only one work, the sum of all the parts, which has yet to be completed. This exhibition invites us to venture into the master's worlds and be ensnared by their beauty, their impeccable technique and the mystery of their symbolism.
José Antonio Suárez Londoño (b. Medellín, 1955) started out as a draughtsman and printmaker in the 1970s. Between 1974 and 1977 he studied Biology at the University of Antioquia, and in 1984 he completed his studies at the Geneva School of Fine Arts. He has lived and worked in Medellín ever since. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale (2013), the MoMA, New York (2010), and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2000), among other venues. Suárez Londoño designs and prints all of his own graphic work at the Medellín print shop La Estampa.
Muestrario is produced by La Casa Encendida with the support of ARCOColombia and in collaboration with the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (MAMM) and the CAPC - Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux.