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Álvaro Barrios
b. 1945, Cartagena, Colombia

Public Collections

The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York 

The New York Public Library, New York 

Museum of Modern Art of Latin America, Washington DC

Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City, Mexico

Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba 

Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo Lima, Peru 

National Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Museo de Arte Moderno, La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia

Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellín, Colombia

Museo de Arte Moderno, Pereira, Colombia 

Museo de Arte Moderno, Cartagena, Colombia 

Museo de Arte Moderno, Bucaramanga, Colombia 

Museo de Arte Moderno, Barranquilla, Colombia 

Museo Bolivariano de Arte Contemporáneo, Santa Marta, Colombia 

Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia 

Museo Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia 

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo El Minuto de Dios, Bogotá, Colombia 

Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia


Álvaro Barrios’s iconic comic book style burgeoned from an early passion for drawing, inspired by the comics he read as a child. Though he pursued his studies in architecture, he began to make artworks, in his own words, because “I was especially interested in the sense of nostalgia that comics transmitted in me.” His first works, executed in the 1960s, were collages of comic pages. In 1967, Barrios first encountered the work of Marcel Duchamp and was so deeply affected by the experience that he called his subsequent work a constant reflection of Duchamp’s. Barrios was also influenced by theories of Surrealism, graphic design, and poetry. Though critics compared Barrios to Pop artists and Roy Lichtenstein following his first solo show in 1996, Barrios says that he never felt an affinity for either.


In 1966, Marta Traba showcased his drawings which were based on a Dick Tracy comic strip in an exhibition in Bogota. In 1968, his work "Environmental Spaces" became known as the first example of conceptual art in Colombia. Since then his work has been characterized by his drawings, the engravings, collages, and photography, in keeping with his tendency to recreate comic strips and recognized works of art.

Barrios is considered one of the most versatile and unique artists in the world of Colombian art.

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