Evocatively housed in the old Customs House, just off Plaza de San Pedro Claver, this small modern art museum, founded in 1959, provides a worthy introduction to Colombia’s most important 20th-century artists. On the ground floor, permanent exhibits showcase seminal works by native sons Alejandro Obregón (1920–1992), Eduardo Carmona, and Enrique Grau. One of the museum’s highlights, Grau’s surrealistic Triptico de Cartagena de Indias (1998) evokes two quintessential Colombian characters who also happened to be his relatives: an uncle who parachuted into bullfighting rings, and a beauty queen aunt. There are also several of Grau’s signature voluptuous nudes, including Desnudo Feminino (1971). Grau’s representation of Afro-Colombian and Indian figures came to define contemporary art in Colombia and redefined Colombian art’s status on the international market; Western interest in Colombian art has skyrocketed over the last decade. Along with Fernando Botero and Alejandro Obregón, Enrique Grau belongs to the triumvirate of Colombia’s most celebrated and beloved artists. In many ways, Alejandro Obregón’s vivid landscapes, exotic wildlife, and passionate depiction of women and family distill the essence of all that is Cartagena. Obregón’s self-portrait Dedalo (1995) is mesmerizing and confounding in equal measure.
Museo de Arte Moderno
Calle 30 N. 4–08, Plaza de San Pedro Claver
Our Rating Hours Mon–Fri 9am–12pm, 3–7pm; Sat 10am–1pm, Sun 4pm–9pm Phone 5/664-5815 Prices COP$8,000 adults, COP$3,000 children, free on Wed Web site Museo de Arte Moderno
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