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Flor María Bouhot painter born in Bello, Antioquia, in 1949. She studied at the Instituto de Bellas Artes de Medellín and graduated as a teacher in Plastic Art at the Antioquia University. Her work celebrates bodies in freedom of gender, erotic enjoyment and ethnic diversity, represented in scenes loaded with explosive color and profuse decoration. Her characters are urban and many of them emerged from marginal, nocturnal and bohemian environments. In 1984, she won the First Prize at the Salón de Arte Joven at the Antioquia Museum. She has an extensive list of exhibitions, mainly in Colombia and Mexico, where she lives (Guadalajara, Jalisco) and continues to exhibit.

Review

At school, the teacher Otilia shows her the drawing of a dressmaker’s clothing model that awakens in the girl the desire to draw: she looks at pictures of the same motif over and over again, until she creates her own versions of the figure. Her mother worked in Fabricato and her father, the great-grandson of a French immigrant, was an employee of the Antioquia Railroad. Don Ángel moves to Puerto Berrío, a municipality on the banks of the Magdalena River with a railway station, where he opens a miscellaneous store, in which Flor, as the eldest daughter of 11 siblings, once finished her primary school at the Andrés Bello School, accompanies him to support it. Between fabrics and textures, the attention of the clientele, the passing of merchants and port workers, of adolescents conquered with false promises and prostitutes at the service of gentlemen, he perceives the stopped heat of the tropics, the explosion of its color, the vegetal exuberance, the squalor of a world of facades. He observes, draws and writes poems in this atmosphere that will be the raw material of his creative path.

During her stay in Puerto Berrío, the Italian Basili, a local painter, taught her the rudiments of drawing and painting and provided her with materials. Every two weeks she travels with her aunt and godmother to Medellín, where she takes classes with Lola Vélez and Jorge Marín Vieco. She wants to study, to get out of the lethargy of the town and at 18 she returns to Medellín.

At night, she advances her baccalaureate at the Francisco Antonio Zea Departmental High School. During the day, she takes classes at the Instituto de Bellas Artes (now the Instituto Universitaria Bellas Artes) with teachers Rafael Sáenz, Emiro Botero and Eduardo Echeverri. There she made landscapes and still lifes in watercolor, learned the technique of the mural and learned about movements that arose in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Impressionism (focused on the use of light on the object), Fovism (characterized by the use of color), and identifies with French artists who will influence her throughout her career, such as Paul Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec or Henri Matisse. She completed her studies at her Institute in 1975.

She continued her studies at the University of Antioquia, and obtained an analog camera with which she began to make photographic records in the Guayaquil neighborhood, an area in the center of Medellín, at that time with bars, cafes and brothels. There she found faces, facades, costumes and atmospheres that reminded her of the corners and motifs of her stay in Puerto Berrío and that would feed the scenes of intense color and profuse decoration of her paintings. She graduated as a Master of Fine Arts in 1981.

Pictorial expression

Flor María outlines her aesthetic proposal in the 80s, in which the painting in Medellín receives a renewed interest in several artists of her generation, who seek to transcend the traditional canons of traditional Antioqueño art, of classical evocation, of ancient portrait and bucolic landscape and explore its expressive potential, where the figurative goes beyond the copy or emulation of reality. These searches arose in a city that had held four international art biennials (1968, 1970, 1972, 1981) that opened the local vision and sensitized new audiences, also in formation due to the opening of the Museum of Modern Art of Medellín in 1978 and moved through scenarios such as art fairs and bazaars.

For these years, the so-called Urban Generation or the Eleven Antioqueños, have their sights set on the realities and imaginary of the city, they distance themselves from the molds of the academy and the traditional languages. Their proposals are connected to the paths of modern art, the media, marginal or emerging cultures, the mixture of referents of various trends, times and styles. The relationship with painting arises from other freedoms of color, another symbolic, emotional, and expressive dimension and spatial notions are questioned, other materials and supports are incorporated. This renewed interest in painting is visible on the international scene from German neo-expressionism and the trans-avant-garde in Italy, as reflected in the XIII Paris Biennale in 1985.

The group of the Eleven Antioqueños or the Urban Generation, also called “The New Painters of Antioquia”, name of the exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art in Medellín in 1984 curated by Alberto Sierra, were architects, self-taught artists, who they renewed the panorama of Antioquia art. The group: Rodrigo Callejas, Oscar Jaramillo, Marta Elena Vélez, John Castles, Hugo Zapata, Humberto Pérez, Álvaro Marín, Juan Camilo Uribe, Javier Restrepo, Dora Ramírez and Félix Ángel. In this context, Bouhot’s artistic proposal is nurtured and developed.

La mirona o voyeur

Camera in hand and eyes awake, Flor María delves into the urban thicket to later create scenes or rooms with her brush in which her characters, with generally naked bodies and fiery lips, emanate eroticism, carefree posture, ambiguity in gender, diversity in origin and skin. Characters who, in ecstasy of enjoyment or in pleasant or provocative rest, lie on beds and armchairs, between backdrops or hanging papers – as in French Art-Deco – reinterpreted or altered in their symbols and floral and landscape motifs.

With the aforementioned elements and the explosion of color as an ally: flat, primary, intense, we can affirm that her technique has a neo-expressionist character. From these elements the artist questions the place of women in a society with double standards and she dares to show her not only as an object of male desire, but as being that she feels and enjoys her. At the same time, the male body is presented in his nakedness, devoid of its male power and it is observed in its ability to enjoy and be enjoyed. Thus, her work transgresses and transcends the orthodox notions of gender and challenges a racist, classist society with strong conservative morals with her characters of diverse origins.

Eroticism and periphery

Prostitutes, madmen and transvestites, as well as women and men appropriate to their selfhood, carnival characters amidst mythical attire and extravagance, still lifes of flowers and fruits overflowing with juice and tactile provocation, constitute a social tale from the end of the 20th century. In this expanded account of Bouhot’s paintings, lagged historical traits and values such as racism and the multiethnic conformation of our peoples and cultures, the bandage on sexual diversity, the popular origin of all cultures, appear. His work, a mosaic of evidence from the margins or shores of a society, generated from various instances of power, coined by an official history.

Family and life

At 70 years of life and 50 years of professional life, her work continues to attract the gaze from its powerful expression, its alternative cry and joy, its stridency of the fierce tropics and implacable concrete jungle, works as rooms, from which characters and objects challenge our contemporaneity.

His work is in private collections in and His works are in private collections in Germany, Holland, Norway, Venezuela, the United States, Mexico and Colombia. Also in the Museum of Antioquia and the Museum of the University of Antioquia in Medellín and in the National Museum in Bogotá. In 2019, the Arts Center of the EAFIT University of Medellín, held the tribute exhibition for the 50 years of his artistic life, Los Colores del Deseo. Work by Flor María Bouhot, under the curatorship of Sol Astrid Giraldo Escobar, to which the artist attended the opening ceremony.

Studies

1975Plastic arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, Medellín.
1981Licenciatura en Artes Plásticas en la Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín
1983Preschool education at the Shalom Association, SENA, Medellín

Exhibitions

1980III Visual Arts Hall, Pilot Public Library, Medellín, Colombia. Art Students of the University of Antioquia, University Museum, Medellín, Colombia.
1981Sample of young people from Antioquia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bogotá. Gallery
The Office, Medellín, Colombia.
They live and work in Medellín, Galería Suramericana, Medellín, Colombia.
Five proposals from Antioqueños, Skandia Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia.
1982Avant-garde women in Antioquia art. Collective exhibition. Institute of Cultural Integration, Medellín, Colombia
New Trends in Art in Antioquia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bogotá, Colombia.
Second Hall of Engravers, Museum of the University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.
1983Medellín at the MAMM, collective exhibition with the participation of 50 artists, Museum of Modern Art, Medellín, Colombia.
1984XV Young Art Hall of the Museum of Antioquia. First prize with the work Petra and Micaela, from the Series Lovers. Medellin Colombia.
The New Painters of Antioquia, Museum of Modern Art, MAMM, Medellín, Colombia.
1985Marta Traba room, first edition. La Tertulia Museum of Modern Art, Cali, Colombia
The New Eleven. Finale Gallery. Medellin Colombia. Curator of Luis Fernando Valencia.
1986V Biennial of American Graphic Arts, with the participation of artists from 20 countries. La Tertulia Modern Art Museum, Cali, Colombia.
XXX Annual Salon of Artists, Colculta, National Museum, Bogotá, Colombia.
1987XXXI National Salon of Colombian Artists. Medellin Colombia.
Graduates of the University of Antioquia, group exhibition, El Taller, Pereira, Colombia.
New Names, Casa de la Moneda, Bogotá and El Taller Gallery, Pereira, Colombia.
Linoleum engraving, Central Library of the University of Antioquia.
The nude, La Francia Gallery, Medellín. and Las Lara Gallery, Barranquilla.
1988Exlibris, Luis Ángel Arango Library, Bogotá, Colombia.
The nude, Museum Gallery, Santafé de Bogotá.
1989Made in Medellín, a traveling exhibition of 26 artists. The International Monetary Fund Gallery, Washington D.C., continues the tour of other galleries in the United States and returns to the Museum of Modern Art in Medellín. Carried out by the Mayor’s Office, Compañeros de las Américas Antioquia-Masschusetts, Centro Colombo Americano de Medellín, MAMM Advisory Office and the curatorship of Alberto Sierra.
Mini Print International, Chapel Hospital Sta. Cruz, Spain.
1990XXXIII Annual Exhibition of Colombian Artists, Bogotá, Colombia.
The Thirty of the Nineties, Public Library of Medellín
Mural in Don Bosco Shelter, Oriental Avenue with Cundinamarca Street, Medellín, Colombia.
Instances of Ecstasy, Galería Arte Autopista, Medellín.
The plastic in Medellín in the 80’s. Chamber of Commerce, Medellín, Colombia.
1991Medellín in Santafé de Bogotá, National Museum, Bogotá, Colombia.
Kunst Verscheidenheid in Hedendaagse Colombianse ”(Art as a heterogeneous event). Collective exhibition of contemporary Colombian art at the German Embassy, Bogotá, Colombia.
1992Graphic Miniature Biennial, Luisa Palacios, Caracas, Venezuela.
The Secret of David’s box, Alonso Arte Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia.
Contemporary Art in Small Format, Lucy Correa Workshop, Medellín, Colombia.
1993XXXV Salon of Colombian Artists, Santafé de Bogotá.
History of Engraving in Antioquia, Museum of Modern Art MAMM, with the support of Banco de la República, Medellín, Colombia.
Painters of Antioquia. OEI Art Gallery. HCCA (Health Care Compliance Association), National University and IIse Gordon Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia.
1994Roaming in the United States as an artist in one of the galleries supported by this project managed by Proexport.
El Chicó Museum, Santafé de Bogotá, Commerce Club ‘Santafé de Bogotá Colombia.
XXXV Annual Salon of Colombian Artists, Bogotá, Colombia.
The still life, Pluma Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia.
1995Lovers, series reproduced on the billboards of the International Road Museum in Tuluá, Valle, Colombia.
Small Format, Engraving Workshop, Medellín, Colombia.
Mask Workshop ”, National Theater, Bogotá. , Colombia.
1996Engraving Workshop, University of Antioquia Museum and Chamber of Commerce, Medellín, Colombia.
Engravings. Flor María Bouhot, Chamber of Commerce of Medellín, Colombia.
1997Instances of Ecstasy, Galería Arte Marcos, Cali, Colombia.
1998Engraving Workshop, La Baluarte, Medellín, SAT, Medellín.
Art International NY, The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, United States.
1999Galería Final Touch Enterprises INC., Key Biscayne, Florida.
2000Carnaval Series, Customs Gallery, Barranquilla., Colombia.
Carnaval Series, University of Guadalajara, Casa Vallarta Cultural Center, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
Humor and Graphic Humor, Café Libro Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia.
2001Erotic exhibition of painters, poets and musicians. Tribute to León Góngora, Café Libro Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia.
2002Canvases, color and passion, Stoa Gallery, Guadalajara, Mexico.
2003Latin art, Irma Valerio Gallery, arte 21 workshop, Zacatecas, Mexico.
2006Travel without a map, Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia.
Latin art, Technological University of Mexico, Guadalajara, Mexico. Roaming around the House of Culture of Lagos de Moreno and Galería Arte 21, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
Colombia is passion, Chamber of Commerce, Mexico City.
2009American Erotic Art Museum, Bogotá, Colombia.
Art & Eros Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art of Bogotá, Colombia.
Vértice Gallery, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
2010Corpus Eroticus. Female, Male, Museum of Art of the National University of Colombia
2011Encounters and disagreements, Mundo Gallery, Bogotá Colombia
100 years of International Women’s Day Celebration, Café Libro Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia
Corpus Eroticus. Female, Male, Art Estudio Magazine
2012The jungle speaks, House of the Union of Tula culture.
2013Life machines, group exhibition, Museum of Antioquia, Medellín.
2018Bodies on the edge, group exhibition, Museo de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia.
2019The colors of desire ”Work by Flor María Bouhot, an exhibition in honor of her 50 years of artistic life. Arts Center, EAFIT University, Medellín, Colombia.
Universe of the diverse, Fundación epm, Medellín, Colombia.
Of rites and shamans ”Museum of the University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia.

Distinctions

She obtains the First Prize in the XV Young Art Hall of the Museum of Antioquia in Medellín, with the work Petra and Micaela, from the series The Lovers. In 1985 she was part of the XI International Portfolio of Pan American Graphic Arts Agpa. Edition composed of 150 original works by 15 national and foreign artists; The sample is exhibited at the National Museum in Bogotá, the Modern Art Museum in Medellín, the La Tertulia Museum of Modern Art in Cali and the Amira de la Rosa Theater in Barranquilla. In 1993, her contribution to engraving was reviewed in the publication El Grabado in Antioquia, an investigation by Santiago Londoño, sponsored by the Banco de la República. In 2010, the book Body of a woman: model to arm, by Editorial La Carreta, included it in the edition, along with artists such as Débora Arango, MariPaz Jaramillo, Liliana Angulo, Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Adriana Duque, Libia Posada, Clemencia Echeverri , Doris Salcedo and María Teresa Hincapié. In 2017, at the First Latin American Women’s Festival of Integrated Arts, Medellín-Bello (her birthplace), it pays tribute to her. In 2019, the Medellín Chamber of Commerce offers her the tribute “Spirits of Power”. The same year, the EAFIT University held the exhibition-tribute The Colors of Desire. Work of Flor María Bouhot and a catalog was published (EAFIT, 2018).

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