Mónica Meira

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Mónica Meira
Datos generales
Nombre Mónica Meira
Fecha de nacimiento 1949
Nacionalidad Inglesa
Ocupación Artista
País de nacimiento Colombia Bandera de Colombia }}
Ciudad de nacimiento Popayán
Familia Ramón Meira-Serantes(Padre), Miguel Cárdenas (Hijo), Verónica Cárdenas (Hija)

Mónica Meira is an artist from an Argentine family who arrived in Colombia as a high school student. In Bogotá she began her artistic career after studying fine arts at Universidad de los Andes. In her work she has explored various styles, from pop to landscape, the latter in her most recent production.


Mónica Meira (London, 1949) is a painter, sketcher, and portraitist of Argentine origin. Following her father, the diplomat Ramón Meira-Serantes, the family arrived in Colombia in 1956 as the dictatorship of Rojas Pinilla's was nearing its end. The family experienced several curfews in the city of Bogotá. She studied art at Universidad de los Andes from 1967 to 1971. In 1971, she married the Colombian painter Juan Cardenas with whom she had two children, Miguel and Veronica. Each developed a particular body of work that expresses their particular vision of the world[1]. Once married, she lived in Paris from 1983 to 1987 and since 1992 has lived between Bogotá and New York. In 2003 she became a naturalized Colombian.

Artistic career

Since before completing her studies in fine arts in 1971, Mónica Meira had already participated since 1968 in several collective exhibitions, some dedicated to graphic arts such as Jóvenes Ilustradores (Young Illustrators) at the National Library in Bogotá, Grabadoras y Dibujantes de Colombia (Engraving and Drawing in Colombia) at the Luis Ángel Arango Library in Bogotá, and the first Graphic Arts Biennial at La Tertulia Museum in Cali. She also presented a solo exhibition at El Callejón Gallery in Bogotá in 1969. That same year she was invited to participate in the XX National Artists’ Salon, held at the Luis Ángel Arango Library[2]. The works produced at this point in her artistic career were devoted to representations of everyday, solitary symbols animated by human existence. Meira’s career has developed with tutoring from great masters such as Juan Antonio Roda, Santiago Cárdenas, Juan Cárdenas, Carlos Rojas, Luis Caballero, Nirma Zárate, and Umberto Giangrandi, among others. From 1993 to 1996, she studied at New York University and obtained a master of arts degree. She later specialized in engraving at the university’s Color Print Atelier.

Characteristics of his work

Mónica Meira has explored various styles, from seventies-influenced pop to landscape. Her large body of work reveals her interest in drawing and engraving. Her graphic work from the nineties is outstanding, including combinations such as intaglios mixed with aquatints and metal engravings with intaglios. In these works, the artist's taste for mixed techniques and random printing results is evident. With regard to painting, the use of acrylic and color that is not necessarily a reflection of nature are notable. As for themes, they may be organized into three groups: still lifes, human figures, and landscapes. In her initial work, a series of women’s objects such as bags, gloves, and wallets stand out. Later she developed a series of portraits and self-portraits, as well as a long series of works on the theme of bathing. On this subject the artist wrote: "In the eighties I worked more on the figure and the body; I was looking for a nude that could be something special for its time. I see in the history of art an obsession with the human body and I find different abstractions of it that define different periods. In the eighties I saw a greater obsession with the human form, trying to find the perfect measure in the gym, through dieting, food, trying to build a new body. I went to the beach, took pictures, and started drawing and analyzing the figure, looking for a new nude and a new body. The line was very important in these drawings. I started with a silhouette as a dominant shape.”[3] Her most recent period features strange extensive desert landscapes and gigantic mountains, with minuscule human and animal figures that evidence the thinness of the line between the imaginary and the real. Her academic training and knowledge of art history have provided Meira with valuable conceptual and practical tools for the development of her creations. She is an artist who addressed the artistic expressions of her time and observes them with a critical gaze.

Featured works

  • 1973: Bodegón (Still Life)
  • 1997: Concentración (Concentration)
  • 2004: El cañón de Las Hermosas (The Canyon of the Beautiful)

Works by Mónica Meira in the collections of Banco de la República

Obras de Mónica Meira en la Colección de Arte del Banco de la República
Title Year Location Technique Registration number
Puro encaje (Pure Lace) 1983 Reserve Engraving AP3992
Concentración (Concentration) 1997 Reserve Painting AP3889
Afuera (Outside) 1996 Reserve Engraving AP2739


  • 1949 : Born in London.
  • 1956 : Arrived in Colombia in November with her family.
  • 1969 : Participated in the XX National Artists’ salon at the Luis Ángel Arango Library.
  • 1971 : Marriage to the Colombian painter Juan Cárdenas.
    • Received recognition at the V National Salon in August, a young art event created by German Ferrer Barrera in 1967, which contributed significantly to promoting the new values of Latin American art.
  • 1984 : Participated in the exhibition El dibujo actual en Colombia (Current Drawing in Colombia) at the Centro Colombo Americano in Bogotá.
  • 1987 : Participated in the exhibition Dibujantes colombianos modernos. Un gran examen (Modern Colombian Cartoonists)
  • 1990 : Participated in the exhibition Pinturas y dibujos (Paintings and Drawings) at Garcés Velásquez Gallery.
  • 1995 : Participated in a painting exhibition in Washington Square East Galleries.
  • 1996 : Obtained a master of arts from the New York University.
    • Presented her graphical work in Diners magazine in Bogotá.
  • 2003 : Awarded Colombian citizenship.
  • 2014 : Presened the exhibition Figuración Geográfica (Geographical Figuration) at the Museo Bolivariano de Arte Contemporáneo Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino.

See also


  1. Villegas editores (s.f) Figuración geográfica de Mónica Meira. Agenda Samaria. Accessed at: http://www.agendasamaria.org/wp/figuracion-geografica-de-monica-meira/
  2. Martínez, William. (October 29, 2015) Mónica Meira: el absurdo a gran escala. El espectador. Accessed at:https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/cultura/monica-meira-el-absurdo-gran-escala-articulo-596005
  3. Rubiano Caballero, Germán. 2010. Mónica Meira: creación a toda prueba. Accessed at: https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-8646381


1.Osorio, Andrés. 2019. Un calendario, un testimonio. El Espectador. Accessed at: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/noticias-de-cultura/un-calendario-un-testimonio-articulo-892329

2.Martínez, William. 2015. Mónica Meira: el absurdo a gran escala. El Espectador. Accessed at: https://www.elespectador.com/noticias/cultura/monica-meira-el-absurdo-gran-escala-articulo-596005

3.López, Sorzano Liliana. 2009. Retrato de una familia. El Espectador. Accessed at: https://www.elespectador.com/node/108544/print

4.Various authors. 2016.” 50 años MAC Museo de arte Moderno de Bogotá,” La aventura de la cultura. Accessed at:https://issuu.com/macbogota/docs/la_aventura_de_la_cultura_1966_-_20

5.Rubiano Caballero, Germán. 2010. Mónica Meira. Villegas Editores.

Banco de la República Art Collection


1.Research and text: Lucía Gómez Amado, mediator of the museums and collections of Banco de la República, for Banrepcultural.

2.Proofreading and editing: Inti Camila Romero Estrada and Diana Marcela Salas Solórzano, Public and Educational Services, Art, and Other Collections Unit (UAOC).