Sep 8, 2014

Feliza Bursztyn's 81st Birthday

Feliza Bursztyn (September 8, 1933, Bogotá, Colombia — January 8, 1982, Paris, France[1]) was a Colombian sculptor.

Feliza Bursztyn studied painting in the Art Students League of New York City[2] and sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. Her exploration with materials started thanks to the work of the French artist César Baldaccini and after 1961 she started using scrap metal in her works.[3] Bursztyn was part of a generation that changed the definition of sculpture in Colombian culture.[4]

Her workshop in Bogotá was a gathering place for many writers, artists, and intellectuals including Gabriel García Márquez, Alejandro Obregón, Marta Traba, Álvaro Cepeda Samudio, Santiago García, Jorge Gaitán Durán, Fernando Martínez Sanabria, and Hernando Valencia Goelkel. She took exile in Mexico in 1981 due to the political and social problems in Colombia.

Bursztyn's parents were Polish Jews who had been visiting Bogotá at the time of her birth in 1933. When they received news of Adolf Hitler's election to the German Chancellorship, they decided to remain in Colombia, where her father founded a small textile factory.[5]

Feliza died in exile at Paris on January 8, 1982, leaving many of her works to the Colombian Ministry of Culture and the National Museum of Colombia.