Art in Buenos Aires: 5 paintings you can´t miss

Buenos Aires has always been one of the stars of Latin American art. Here you’ll find five works you can´t miss on your next visit to the city.

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Art in Buenos Aires: 5 paintings you can´t miss

Nov 10, 2015

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Buenos Aires has always been one of the stars of Latin American art. Here you’ll find five works you can´t miss on your next visit to the city.

Since the locals (called "porteños”) are locals, the city looked with astonishment at and its cultural legacy. In 1799, the first already existed, an initiative of Manuel Belgrano, Argentine hero who, in addition to fighting for independence and create the national flag, was convinced that progress was only possible if the knowledge of the arts and architecture was encouraged.

But the city has also learned to paint its own history beyond . From the avant-garde of the 20s and 30s, through the experimental 60s and 70s, up to the dawn of the new millennium and its many initiatives. ArteBA, the nation's largest contemporary art fair held every year in May; the editions of Gallery Nights (April to September) and the Night of the Museums (in November); and, above all, the transformation of the space devoted to exhibiting works of art.

These days, the city adds to the proposal other big cities of the world... 

Museums are no longer mausoleums and become rich, vibrant spaces that invite the public not only to see a picture, but to experience it

1- “LA SIESTA”, WORK OF PRIDILIANO PUEYRREDÓN

Key painter of the 19th century, renowned for rural recurring details in his work with the “gauchos” as protagonists of a romantic and bucolic vision of . At “Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes” (Avenida del Libertador 1473, Recoleta), you'll enjoy some of the most emblematic: “Un alto en el campo”, “Recorriendo la estancia”... But a less popular feature of Pueyrredón today (though extremely provocative for its time) was his condition of first Argentine painter of female nudes, which did largely in secret. “La siesta” (The nap) and “El baño” (The toilet) are the only two oils that survived the scandal, and now exposed, ironically, in the most traditional and prestigious city museum.

Buenos Aires Art





2- “A PLENO SOL”, WORK OF BENITO QUINQUELA MARTÍN

The ports painter, the master of colors: these are just some of the titles that were attributed to Benito Quinquela Martin (1890-1977), the artist closely linked to La Boca. He was the creator of “Caminito” street as an outdoor gallery, and his most famous paintings are those representing the shipyard workers. It's almost impossible to choose one among the more than 90 works of authorship that exposes Benito Quinquela Martín Museum (Avenida Pedro de Mendoza 1835, La Boca), but “A Pleno Sol”, 1924, is an excellent example of his use of explosive color - a color that would go beyond his paintings and would inspire his neighbors to paint their houses of La Boca with bright colors, a hallmark of the neighborhood.

Buenos Aires Art


3- “MANIFESTACIÓN”, WORK OF ANTONIO BERNI

When he was 30 years old, Antonio Berni was already a relatively well-known artist. But when he came back to after a long stay in he established as one of the major national teachers. The origin of his consecration was not happy: they were the post Russian revolution years, pre fall NYSE, and was not immune to global economic swings. Berni saw the deep social unhappiness and felt questioned. The result: “Manifestación” (Protest), an iconic work of art as political protest, which now houses the (known as Malba, Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Palermo Chico). Inspired by the Mexican muralists, Berni decided to paint in large dimensions using canvas but not the typical burlap bags (which were used to load potatoes) as support. A color data: to create those sad faces full of realism, Berni walked the streets with his Leica; part of that file is now in the and is available, which allows us to recognize what real faces match those shown in the files.

Buenos Aires Art


4- “TÚ Y YO”, WORK OF XUL SOLAR

Driven by Jorge Luis Borges, Oscar Agustín Alejandro Schulz Solari, more popular as Xul Solar, was not only a painter but also a sculptor, writer, inventor of languages, but above all, creator of fantastic universes. His work, while taking elements of the avant-garde and has a clear link with Paul Klee, is essentially super personal and is packed with the highest interest of the artist: astrology, mysticism, geometry, languages, symbolism. To fully explore his particular creative universe, visit the Museum Xul Solar (Laprida 1212, Barrio Norte), where you’ll admire his entire legacy, from his typical “Tú y Yo” (You and I) and other paintings, objects and sculptures, up to more than 3,500 volumes part of his beloved library.

Buenos Aires Art





5- “EJERCICIO PLÁSTICO”, WORK OF DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS

The work of one of the greatest Mexican artists was held in the outskirts of and was attended by large local masters like Antonio Berni and Juan Carlos Castagnino. As its name suggests, this mural is the result of a search, of an experiment and, besides being the only non-political from Siqueiros, is considered a masterpiece of Latin American culture. Painted in 1933, restored from 1990 to 2008 and finally settled into the Museo del Bicentenario (Avenida Paseo Colón 100, Downtown) “Ejercicio Plástico” (Plastic Exercise) can be described as a huge glass box that seeks to "feel the sea". Unmissable.

Buenos Aires Art

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN MEETING THE ARTISTIC HERITAGE OF, THERE IS ROOM FOR EVERYONE...





To know about the traditional heritage of the city, visit the National Museum of Decorative Arts (Av. Del Libertador 1902, Palermo), the Museum of Latin American Art Isaac Fernández Blanco (1422 Suipacha, Retiro) and the Museum of Fine Arts Eduardo Sivori (Av. Infanta Isabel 555, Palermo). If you are interested in the most advanced expressions, you can´t miss the Museum of Modern Arts (San Juan 350, San Telmo) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Juan 328, San Telmo). Finally, together with , there’re three other private initiatives with impressive collections : Fundación Proa (Avenida Pedro de Mendoza 1929, La Boca), the Faena Arts Center (Aime Paine 1169, Puerto Madero) and Fortabat Museum (Olga Cossettini 141, Puerto Madero).

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