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Marta Traba

Photography: Hernán Díaz Giraldo.

(Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1930 – Mejorada del Campo, Spain, 1983) Art critic, writer, curator, educator, and cultural promoter. Marta Traba developed her work over the course of a 40-year career, 17 of which she spent in Colombia. Her work in that country allowed the emergence of new artists such as Fernando Botero, Edgar Negret, Feliza Bursztyn, Alejandro Obregón, among other key figures in Latin American art. She arrived in Bogota in 1954 and actively participated in the main newspapers of the country, writing art criticism columns. She also conducted radio and television programs such as El museo imaginario [The Imaginary Museum] (1955), El ABC del Arte [The ABC of Art] (1956), Curso de historia del arte [Art History Course] (1958), and Historia del arte moderno contada desde Bogotá [History of Modern Art Told from Bogota] (1984). In 1957, she published the magazine Prisma, which promoted research around the arts, with a total of 12 issues published between February and December of that year. In 1962, she was appointed director of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (MAMBO), whose foundation responded to the need to create an institution that would disseminate the art of the time in the country. Traba’s work was a continuous effort to make art more democratic and accessible, her programs were characterized by the use of simple language; however, her career unfolded in tandem with dictatorships in Latin America, which led her to suffer persecution and live in different countries.