Mourning for a Dead Student


Alejandro Obregón ( Colombian, 1920 - 1995 )

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General Description

This painting is Alejandro Obregón’s seminal work reacting to the violent turmoil of the Colombian civil war. Beginning in 1948, political and social chaos plagued the population of Bogotá and beyond, leaving as many as 250,000 dead. This period of national calamity came to be known as La Violencia, and it inspired artists like Obregón to use their work as both a record and commemoration. Here a single slain victim receives mourners. Obregón uses abstraction to visually define the assemblage of objects at the memorial and animate the vigil.

Excerpt from

Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.