A table covered with various art supplies and tools including paintbrushes and paints.

Oscar Muñoz: Chronology
Decade: 1948-1959


This period known as “La Violencia” (“The Violence”) is characterized by civil war between members of the Colombian Conservative and Liberal parties, fought mainly in the countryside.


Development begins on the Pilot Plan for Cali, to create a new large modern campus of the University of Valle. Cali is a city in the department of Valle del Cauca, an area in southwestern Colombia surrounded by mountains and traversed by the Cali River.


The Artist
Oscar Muñoz is born in Popayán, Colombia, to a middle-class family interested in the arts who encourage and support such interests in their children.1 He spends his early years in Venezuela.


After a coup d’état supported by the political elites, General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla takes power in Colombia until 1957. The military dictatorship imposes martial law to pacify the country.


El Taller (The Workshop), a place to promote modern art, opens in Cali. Enrique Buenaventura founds the Experimental Theater of Cali (TEC) at the local Departmental School of Fine Arts.


In August, more than one thousand people are killed when seven army trucks loaded with dynamite accidentally detonate and destroy eight city blocks in Cali. 

In March, a cultural space called Museum La Tertulia opens in a rented house in the San Antonio neighborhood in Cali under the direction of Maritza Uribe de Urdinola. It supports exhibitions of modern art, cultural and educational activities, and discussions about politics. The institution goes unnoticed by state security agencies that ban such meetings. 


General Rojas Pinilla establishes the National Commission to Investigate de Causes and Circumstances of Violence in the National Territory.


The National Front, a period in Colombia during which the Liberal and Conservative parties alternate turns in power, takes place until 1974. This arrangement was intended to end partisan violence, but it perpetuated it by disenfranchising other political parties and groups. The National Front begins with the election of the Liberal Party candidate Alberto Lleras Camargo, one of its architects, as president. 

The Artist
The Muñoz family moves from Venezuela
 to Cali. They live in the neighborhood of El Peñón. 


1 María Wills, “Entrevista retrospectiva a Oscar Muñoz,” banrepcultural.org <https://www.banrepcultural.org/oscar-munoz/entrevista-memorias-infancia-juventud.html>, accessed January 28, 2020.

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