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Realidades sonoras y ficciones visuales

Eduardo Costa: 1966-today

Professor of letters, editor, proto-conceptualist (Alberro, 2001), genre creator (Herrera, 2008), sound poet, fashion novelist, journalist, essayist, volumetric painter are some of the titles Eduardo Costa has been defined with throughout his career: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and New York, from 1966 to the present.

Tireless in his search for new paths in art, this admirer of Duchamp has the ability to find his artistic materialities in the unthinkable: a few stolen dialogues in the street to create the first oral literature, a fictional happening for a mass media art, a fake and unreachable gold accessory to infiltrate the mass media of fashion, semen itself as organic acrylic and acrylic as sculptural clay to expand the possibilities of painting.

Sound realisms and visual fictions. Eduardo Costa: 1966-hoy proposes a non-linear journey through the artist’s career in the gallery’s three rooms, using as reference points three events that took place in three spaces that are as emblematic as they are disparate: an iconic fashion magazine, a traditional fine arts museum, and a legendary rock record.

Anatomy lesson

“Don’t suffer, don’t suffer, it’s only fiction!”, Eduardo Costa requested to an audience that alternated between surprise and astonishment at the dissection of each of the works and the subsequent exhibition of their entrails. Presented on November 22, 2004 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, La biología de la pintura n.° 2: La lección de anatomía was a didactic performance conceived to explain the invisible in the works belonging to a new genre developed by Costa since 1994: volumetric painting. Referred to by the American critic and poet Carter Ratcliff, volumetric paintings are composed not only of external surfaces but also of internal spaces. A volumetric painting of a watermelon is green on the outside, white and red on the inside. A head portrait contains both the organs, muscles and bones, invisible to the viewer, as well as the visible features traditionally manifested in flat painting or sculpture. Geometric abstractions are usually pure monochrome, painted in the same color from beginning to end. Without any other materiality than acrylic pigment and an occasional thickener, volumes are obtained by adding layer upon layer. The volumetric paintings free themselves from the traditional material supports of painting and sculpture to support themselves in each brushstroke with the aesthetics of modernism and the historical avant-garde. Thus, the pigments dissolve, thicken and solidify when mixed with constructivist, neoplasticist, concrete, perceptualist, minimalist or “pop” molecules. “For the (volumetric) paintings are the result of a wide range of concepts and legacies whose complex synthesis provides insight into how modernist paintings can be productively reformulated in the 21st century” (Alberro, 2001).

Of visual fictions and sonorous realisms

“The most exciting thing I’ve seen in recent years” proclaimed Alexander Liberman, art editor of American Vogue magazine between 1941 and 1962, after his meeting with Costa thanks to the intermediation of gallery owner Leo Castelli. On February 1, 1968, a strange accessory was published in its pages: Oreja. Photographed and commented by Richard Avedon and modeled by Marisa Berenson, granddaughter of surrealist fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli and renowned art critic Bernard Berenson. Made in gold on the mold taken from Argentine model María Larreta in 1966, this object is part of Fashion Fiction I, along with other jewelry in the form of phalanges and hair. Costa was trying to broaden its audience, reaching out to the fashion mass media with a strategy that included fictionalizing a luxury product as well as making use of the visual and written languages characteristic of these publications. In the months following its print appearance, the object would be transformed into several real jewels at the request of a group of the magazine’s readers.  Oreja is a bottle launched into the sea of media that has been and continues to be a reference and source of inspiration. In fashion, Gucci and its creative director, Alessandro Michele, will produce a ready-to-wear version in 2019, which was also featured in Harper’s Bazaar magazine on Serena Williams’ ear, shot by Alexi Lubomirski. Also, in the field of art, several artists have cited it as is the case of the work Untitled, 2021 photograph by La Chola Poblete where the artist adopts the same position and framing of Berenson’s photo and replaces the materiality of gold with that of bread; with this operation “the prosthetic jewel acquires its luxury character, not from the shine of the metal, but from the homey warmth of bread” (Martínez Depietri, 2021).

At the same time, Costa continued to explore oral language, ethnographic realism, sound and the possibilities of the stereophonic recorder in his search for new materialities and media. This path had taken shape for the first time in 1966 in the project Poema ilustrado for the exhibition El Poema y su sombrura, curated by Mercedes Álvarez Reynolds at the Galería de Arte Joven de Radio Municipal; finding in this oral ready-made an objective and external memory to the artist who surpassed photography in her ability to achieve greater realism, inaugurating another new genre: oral literature. In 1969, together with artist John Perreault, a tape that includes the work of fifteen artists and poets from Latin America and the United States, accompanied by a manifesto written by both of them. For the authors, “the works exist entirely in terms of auditory phenomena, rather than in terms of visual sign systems, thus beginning a new art of the tape recorder that has in common with written literature the fact that it refers to real language” (Costa-Perreault, 1969). “While Oreja had materialized the anatomy of sound reception-the aural with the auditory-Tape Poems focused on the material storage of sound outside the body” (McEnaney, 2016).

For Costa, oral language is an immersed historical ocean in which he will remain diving throughout his career. The appearance of an ear made of gold can be read as a tribute to the human organ that receives and decodes this ancestral expression of culture, an auricular-auric-auratic object.

A honeymoon in the hand

“I want you to write a lyric for Virus – did you think it would be about any particular issue? Yes, about masturbation”. On October 25, 1985 the album Locura is released, the fifth studio work of the group Virus, the most successful of the band in sales and the favorite of its leader Federico Moura.  Costa is the author of the lyrics of Una luna de miel en la mano. Inspired by the fictional play Everyman His Own Wife Or, A Honeymoon in the Hand: A National Immorality in Three Orgasms imagined by Buck Mulligan’s character in James Joyce’s most famous work Ulysses. Some works made at different stages in Costa’s production contain the male body as a theme or as a source of plastic material. With an ambiguous, delicate and poetic sexual charge, these works resort to the torso, genitals and semen to try out new genres in art. A soft and sinuous rectangle next to an erect cylinder constitute a pornogeometric painting, the ejaculations are gestures of an orgasmic informalism on the canvas, the perforations on the stretcher bars resemble spatialism à la Fontana. Under the light of a honey-colored acrylic moon, a hand holding a cucumber, a roll of toilet paper and a small notebook with a poem written by Costa in his adolescence, compose an intimate still life captured minutes before self-satisfaction, a moment mori that foreshadows the petit morte.

Joaquín Rodríguez

Buenos Aires, October 11, 2023

Revelaciones

This exhibition by Cynthia Cohen shows the current state of her perception of the world and the way she understands life and art today. Each painting is an exploration of perceptions that allow her to project internal dynamics outwards. A creative process related to Batlle Planas “inner model” and the free associations of automatism, but with a very different pictorial resolution. It is a shift from consumer pop to metaphysical pop, with elements of camp and surrealism in its use of extravagance, humor and absurdity. As Susan Sontag defines it, Camp is “a sensibility; it is not an idea or a style, but a way of seeing the world”.

The stories are built around situations and images that point her in this new direction. It unites, in a contradictory way, different elements that provoke alienation.  The artist is the one who points, who expands the possibilities of the cosmos with new articulations of the real, understanding that the real is also what is hidden and sometimes unhidden. This is what happens in “accept the thoughts that arise”, where the artist constructs a work in which an infinite number of fascinating scenes and thoughts are superimposed, with no apparent logical structure, as happens when we meditate.  There are fragments of an antique French Aubusson tapestry, pieces of sashimi, fish, skies, a cornucopia and iron bars.

The hands point and at the same time create paradoxical worlds, as in the scene of the painting “Amazonita”, where an emerald is floating above a mass of green against a mountain landscape.  It is the signalling of contradiction, where the absurd is the basis for the production of pictorial discourse.  Throughout the Renaissance we find hands with the index finger pointing towards what seems to be the interpretation of the riddle. A secret to be revealed in each story.

We feel the latency of eroticism in tongues coming out of a wallpaper where red prevails in “Libertine”, an installation with digital recreations projected on the walls of the gallery hall.

In “Azurita”, the sensuality of taste is embodied by a tongue licking a creamy cherry, and the senses are heightened to the extreme by the rare beauty of a huge blue stone floating above the landscape.

The stones that Cynthia used in her first exhibition, when she painted them in groups as gems set in rings, are back. At that time, the context was linked to a reflection on economic power as an allusion to the tyranny of the patriarchal institution. These first rings later became enormous protagonists, with perfectly painted jewels of extreme rigour in the faceting and brilliance of each one.

Today, the rocks are structured in an expressive way, far removed from the precision of those days. Now they are part of a crystalline journey in which he has found another goal in his identity as an artist. The conviction that the work activates something ineffable, something that has no name because there is no word to describe it.  He places himself in the line of poets and mystics who have sought to bear witness to transcendent experiences.

That is why we cannot rationally understand what is happening in these works, but we must enter into these dwellings proposed by the artist. The history of art has repeatedly tried to manifest the metaphysical dimension, as in the works of Hilma af Klint, Malevich or the Argentinean Xul Solar, among many others.

What makes Cynthia’s work so original is that she materialises these ideas with a contemporary approach, mixing brightly coloured objects against the backdrop of the Argentinean landscape. She also draws on her own history. She reappropriates her artistic autobiography with new meanings.

When she painted flowers, as in jewellery, his “Roses” suggested the success of the perfect appearance, open in its maximum splendour. Today, the flower in his painting “A Wish” has fallen petals, is almost withered and is the only work that, instead of floating, has to be held up. She shamelessly exposes the fall and the melancholic register of the final stage.

Endings, like farewells, are encounters. I celebrate this encounter of a new direction in Cynthia Cohen’s work. It was there from the beginning, but today she has been able to manifest it. I think of the story of the English pilot who, having miscalculated his course, discovered England under the impression that it was an unknown island in the South Sea. And when he planted the flag, he had finally arrived in his own country.

Cynthia discovered in Cruz Chica the key that opened the portal to a new meaning. A belief in art as a transcendent and spiritual revelation.

Laura Batkis

   Curator

Hiperestesia

The art of the passage to contemporary art

Marcelo E. Pacheco

Informalism, thresholds, stitching, decollage, other art, driping, are different semblances that enter on a base of paint in superimposed layers of remains of materials, also, drips of different materials such as oil, tempera, collage different from the one that had been given as wire to make the piece: floor rags, rags grids, mixtures of different types of wood, sometimes some cardboard, cardboard and all material, mixed with frames of them.  The base is always complete with very outstanding collage temperatures, reaching different kinds of assemblage.

There are different titles for variations and regional schools that show different typologies: informalism, tachism, collage and decollage, and as long as one chooses the superimpositions of materials. The two extremes are abstract expressionism, pure solidity and dualities of oil, working in layers of brushstrokes that burst in different hardness and subtlety, as in the works of Del Prete or Pucciarelli and, in tachismo or informalism that works with traces, marks, stamp, executive transparency, of all kinds of things. The two extremes play with the range of the material that moves away or gets closer and closer to the specific weight and the network of the real.

At the other point of the space appear the abstract or non-figurative with collage as a base and hyper-abundant collage stickers that finally explodes in the assemblages. The first occurs more fully in the New York School culminating with Pollock and locally with Greco and Del Prete. The second occurs with less traversed collage, being protagonist rags grids, floor rags, draped, as Towas, Peluffo, Kemble, Lublin.

With several cast manipulations, different variants with Creole personality are grouped together, making the pieces divided in the graphics and draperies and in the fabrics worked with the tips of the handles of the brushes or their coats.

A special note is the group of works by the Uruguayan Teresa Vila with her semi-abstract paintings. In the territory the games between the freedom of non-figuration and the freedom of non-abstractions.

From informalism to concrete art and kinetic and optical art, different virtual visual forms or boxes with their own supports follow each other.

The total filling of the surface reaches the maximum, even the frames, and they choose multiple bases, the infinitude of choices as a basis for their stories that are non-figurative. The current exhibition is a very good example of diversity.

The general qualities of the informalist language, forms a bundle of figurative works confronted, or interwoven, or directly mixed or in tension. The manner is clearly seen as an astonishing manner since the 1940s, although as a group it was shown in only two exhibitions, both in 1959. This location and this movement of comings and goings and ideas, place Informalism as one of the broad thresholds of passage from modern art to contemporary art. From this point, the neo-criollo informalism of artists such as Peluffo, Greco and Kemble nourish with frictions the three enclaves that since the end of the 1950s have been running towards post-historic art.

The starry ordered by parallel and simultaneous conversations shows a whole possible to be broken or in sets that intermingle.

A sample of the poly-informalism that was deployed throughout the field of objective accidents and adjectives of history and aesthetics.

Manuel Espinosa

Manuel Espinosa (1942 – 2006) Born in Buenos Aires. He attended the National School of Fine Arts and the School of Fine Arts Ernesto de la Cárcova.

After a brief surrealist period, he is co-founder of the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención. It subscribes to the Invencionista Manifesto and participates in the exhibitions presented by the group in 1946: in March, that of the Peuser Room; in September, the one organized in the Center for Secondary Education Diploma Teachers; in October, at the Argentine Society of Plastic Artists (SAAP) and in the same month at the Ateneo Popular de La Boca.

Later his work is kept within a geometric abstraction characterized by the repetition of the square or the circle in the entire compositional surface. On this serial arrangement works shadows, superposition and displacements, which allow you to incorporate forward and backward spatial relationships.

Integrates collective exhibitions such as From concrete art to the new trend, Museum of Modern Art (1963), Beyond geometry, Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (1967), Salon Campa- raison, Paris (1967), Twenty-five Argentine artists, National Museum of Fine Arts (1970), International Biennial of Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (1970), Projection and dynamics, Museum of Modern Art of the Ville de Paris (1973), Current Trends in Argentine Art, Art Center of International Reunions, Nice, France (1974), among others.

In the decade of the ‘80 participates in the exhibitions of the trend called “sensible abstraction”, among which is Geometry 81, presented at the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts of La Plata. In the city of Buenos Aires integrates geometry. Tribute to Max Bill, organized by the Center for Art and Communication, Sensitive Abstraction, shows that it accompanies the Days of Criticism, both held in 1981 and From Constructivism to Sensitive Geometry, presented at Harrods in May 1992, among others.

Participates in the main exhibitions that deal with the development of abstraction in the Río de la Plata. These include Tribute to the Argentine avant-garde of the 1940s, held at Galería Arte Nuevo (1976), Vanguardias of the 1940s. Concrete Art-Invention. Arte Madí. Perceptismo, Eduardo Sívori Museum (1980) and among the most recent, in abstract art from Río de la Plata. Buenos Aires and Montevideo 1933/53, presented at The Americas Society, New York (2001).

In 2001, the Juan B. Castagnino Museum in Rosario dedicated a tribute to him.

Alfredo Hlito

Born in Buenos Aires in 1923, Alfredo Hlito attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. His first works showed a considerable influence of the Uruguayan Joaquín Torres García, though some years later he turned towards clearer forms and implemented a more abstract sense of composition. In 1945 he was a charter member of the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, and signed the Inventionist Manifesto in 1946.

His austere and personal style remained unchanged throughout great part of his work. During the concrete period (1945-1955) he wrote extensively on the problems of this type of abstraction, and those texts were compiled in 1995 by the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes.

He took part, together with other members of the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención in the Salon des Realités Nouvelles, Paris, as well as in the New Realities exhibition at the Van Riel gallery, Buenos Aires, both in 1948.

In 1951 he collaborated with Tomas Maldonado in the founding of Nueva Visión magazine. In 1954 he received the Acquisition Award from the II Biennial Exhibition of San Pablo, and the following year he participated in the XXVIII Biennial International Art Exhibition of Venice.

In 1964 he travelled to Mexico, where he lived until 1973.

He was a Number Member of the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes as from 1984. In 1987 the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes organized an important retrospective exhibition of his works, Alfredo Hlito. Obra pictórica 1945/1985 (Alfredo Hlito, Pictorial Work 1945/1985).

He also participated in important collective exhibitions, such as Vanguardias de la década de los 40. Arte Concreto-Invención. Arte Madí. Perceptismo at the Eduardo Sivori Museum (1980); Argentina, Concrete Art Invention 1945, Madí Group 1946 at the Rachel Adler Gallery, New York (1990); in the Art from Argentina 1920/1994 exhibition opened at Modern Art Oxford, 1994, a travelling exhibition that after visiting several European countries, was closed at the Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, in 1995.

María Boneo

María Boneo (1959, Belgrade, Yugoslavia) is an Argentine artist based in Buenos Aires. She studied at the National School of Fine Arts, Argentina; at the Statuaria Arte, Carrara, Italy; and in the studios of sculptors Leo Vinci, Aurelio Macchi, Miguel Angel Bengochea y Beatriz Soto García. She received several awards and mentions, including the Mention of the Salón Nacional de Artes Visuales (2014), the Second Prize at the Salón de Grabado y Escultura Ernesto de la Cárcova (2003) and the First Prize of Scultpure at the Museo Antonio Ballvé (2002). She participated in group and solo shows in institutions such as the Museo Sívori, Palais de Glace, MCMC Galería, and the Museo de Arte Decorativo, in Buenos Aires. Her work was part of art fairs in in Brazil, England, Argentina, United States, and France. Her two monograph books were published in 2019 and 2010, edited by Manuela López Anaya. She is currently part of the Collective 62, an artist platform in Miami, United States.

María Boneo´s work revolves around the use of sculpture to explore one of her main interests: the curvy lines reminiscent of the nest, the womb, and the female figure. By embracing abstraction, Boneo creates volumes which are abundant on convexities and concavities. These are built from diverse materials that introduce color, texture, reflection, temperature, and the presence of the block material. Boneo employs traditional materials, such as marble, wood, and bronze. She also experiments with nickel plated bronze, colored resins, and different types of stones, all of these allow her to achieve the intended nuances, polishing and lacquering. The core of her practice is based on the presence of a particular evocative sensuality, breaking away from obvious associations. Her sculptures set themselves as sensuous bodies, combining both rigidity and coldness while providing a silent and quiet reflection on the origin of life and its constant movements.

Geometrías en paralelo

Ary Brizzi and María Martorell

Few artists shared as many spaces and a common vision as Ary Brizzi and María Martorell. Although they were only circumstantially part of a group, criticism and history brought them together.

By the mid-1950s, geometry had become a movement of great intensity, variety and international projection. It was the language of Modernism in painting, design, architecture and the arts in general. In Argentina, a third wave, called neo-concretism, emerged after the tradition forged by artists of the stature of Tomás Maldonado, Alfredo Hlito, Enio Iommi, Gyula Kosice, Arden Quin and Raúl Lozza, among the masters of the 1940s.

María Martorell was born in Salta in 1909. Ary Brizzi, in Buenos Aires in 1930. They belonged to the same artistic generation despite the significant age difference between them. María married young, raised a family and postponed her vocation, like many women of her time. Ary, already at the age of 15, while attending the School of Fine Arts, worked with her father and brother in architecture and interior design. They are two different lives that converge in the same passion, sustained with talent and tenacity. The first time they exhibited together was in 1963, when Romero Brest invited them to the exhibition Eight Constructive Artists, at the National Museum of Fine Arts, together with Manuel Espinosa, Raul Lozza, Eduardo Sabelli, Miguel Angel Vidal and Carlos Silva. That same year, 1963, the panoramic exhibition Del Arte Concreto a la Nueva Tendencia [1]included both artists and categorically identified them with that “new tendency”. A new trend that, starting from the main concepts of concrete art (total abstraction and autonomy of form, abolition of illusionism, scientific aesthetics), ventured to go further, transforming geometry according to the laws of the human eye. The “generative art”[2], optical and kinetic, more linked to Europe, and the color field and the hard edge, of American origin, made up the innovations that both Martorell and Brizzi practiced in those nascent 1960s.[3]

With a similar background, based on Bauhaus methodology, the heritage of Russian constructivism and the external and local tradition of concrete art, Brizzi and Martorell chose to work in series, introducing small variations on a given initial proposition; investigating the syntax of color in relation to forms, real or virtual movement, light and its infinite plastic and symbolic implications.

The artistic model of personalities such as Max Bill – winner in 1952 of the grand prizes at the first South American biennial, the São Paulo Biennial – and Victor Vasarely, who exhibited his work in Buenos Aires in 1958 after participating in the IV Biennial, left their mark on the poetics of geometry and multidisciplinary development. Both artists and designers blurred the boundaries of art.

Martorell witnessed the changes from Europe. He lived there for two years, between 1955 and 1956, and avidly visited museums and workshops of contemporary artists such as Georges Vantongerloo, Nicolas Schöeffer and Jesús Soto, who were embarking on the new geometric directions.

With its vocation for total abstraction, concrete art had left a question floating in the air for the next generation to resolve: what is the subject of painting? Centuries of figurative art, of representation, had put geometry at the crossroads of having to defend itself from the consideration of being a “decorative style”.

The theme of a work of art, Martorell pointed out, is “its harmony, its rhythm. The theme is only the means of directing our attention towards appearances and inviting us to go through those appearances to reach its spirit”.

In line with these reflections, Brizzi asserted that painting is a “unique fact caused by the use of a unique medium”, that the “plastic fact” is given without support in any other reality than itself and its purpose is “to sensitize human perception and its inner vision”.

Thus, was born a painting that is as close to the eye as it is to the unapproachable “inside”, to the spirit of both the artist and his audience. However, this approach without known objects, metaphors, or literary narratives gradually became a language that encapsulated the most basic and yet most sophisticated forms of human perception. Governed by the laws of vision, sensual curves navigate through spaces of clear colors; they attract, repel, change course. A beam of light breaks a plane, shatters into the colors that form it. Circles and lines reverberate in the extreme contrast of black and white. These were just some of the themes of geometry that Martorell and Brizzi worked on, filling their canvases with musical resonances. Precisely music, in its extreme abstraction, was one of the models used to think these compositions detached from representation, as strict and rational as close to emotions.

Artists with a vocation for knowledge, both were self-trained in the reading of diverse materials that concentrated the interests of their time: science, technology, the extension of art to design and daily life.

From the beginning, Brizzi designed and applied his artistic patterns to pieces of graphic art and advertising. The “studies” he carried out between 1955 and 1962 are works in themselves and show that application to communication which, no one doubts anymore, does not reside only in words. Using state-of-the-art materials such as synthetic enamels, then acrylics and innovative metallic alloys, he painted, created sculptures and practiced a craft that he then called “commercial architecture” and that covered the urgent needs of exhibition in the innovative industrial fairs of the economic bonanza of developmentalism.

On this path of art extension, Martorell, enraptured by the medieval tapestries she had seen in France, wondered what would be the destiny of tapestry from Salta, still considered a handicraft. Tuning tradition with modernity would allow her to speak of a contemporary textile art based on pre-Inca motifs, the myths and legends of the Argentine Northwest and the expert hands that still executed them. From this incursion was born the collaboration with Salta artist Carlos Luis “Pajita” García Bez and his weavers, who combined Andean geometry with contemporary geometry in Martorell’s designs; a virtuous encounter that still echoes today and the textile boom.

During the 70’s, in the Acrylics Paolini company awards, Brizzi and Martorell were also keen to create “useful” (design) and “useless” (artistic) objects with the precious material, acrylic, which connoted the beauty and practicality of modern life.

At the same time as these explorations, in 1966, Brizzi and Martorell were part of Grupo 13 (G13), which had its presentation in Buenos Aires [4]and represented a true compendium of the geometric tendencies of the time. The exhibition received excellent comments, such as those of the critic Cayetano Córdova Iturburu, who saw in its excellence the counterpart of the Braque Prize, dedicated to celebrating the “nothings of the Pops”.[5]

Indeed, the new geometry was contemporary to other trends in figuration such as pop or the youth of the “urban myths”, as the French critic Pierre Restany described them.

That same year, Brizzi and Martorell participated in 11 Pintores Constructivos, in which they coincided once again with Espinosa, Mac Entyre and Vidal. Obviously, these coincidences are not coincidental-nor is the current one we are presenting-since, unlike other trends in contemporary art, geometry was a space of confluences rather than differences. It signified an international language, a sort of Esperanto of forms, for which Europeans and Americans in general had been fighting since the beginning of the twentieth century; a language that, like all languages, gradually incorporated “words” that made it as accessible as figuration had been traditionally. Light, the pictorial representation of light, was one of them. The scales of values, also called degradé, burst into the work of Brizzi and Martorell to blur planes, turn color into atmosphere, deny the two-dimensionality of the support or launch into a world of visual and symbolic suggestions that were previously labeled as naturalistic.

Geometry accompanies us today as evidence of a place of mastery in Argentine art. It was a trend that triumphed at international level, which was loaded with new meanings accompanying the times, but which, essentially, speaks from modernity.

María José Herrera

Historian and curator. Author of the book Ary Brizzi. The Harmony of Modernity (in press 2023) and co-author of María Martorell. The energy of color (2013)


[1] Organized by the Museum of Modern Art of the city of Buenos Aires (MAM).

[2] Creado por Eduardo Mac Entyre y Miguel Ángel Vidal en 1960.

[3] They also coincided in Beyond Geometry (1967), an anthological exhibition that introduced the “new sculpture”, the primary structures, held at the Di Tella Institute, on Florida Street.

[4] Exhibiting with Armando Durante, Manuel Espinosa, María Juana Heras Velasco, Jorge Lezama, Mac Entyre, César Paternosto, Alejandro Puente, Sabelli, Carlos Silva, María Simón and Vidal.

[5] Cayetano Córdova Iturburu, “Dos caras de una medalla”, El Mundo newspaper, Buenos Aires, July 31, 1966.

Carmelo Arden Quin

Carmelo Heriberto Alves, Rivera, Uruguay, 1913 – Paris, France, 2010. The Catalonian writer Emilio Sans, a friend of his family, introduced him to the Plastic Arts. In 1935 he met Joaquín Torres García during a conference at the Theosophist Society seat, and though he initially adopted his aesthetic guidelines, in 1936 he made his first non-orthogonal paintings, transgressing the traditional limits of the frame confinement. He exhibited those works at the Casa de España, Montevideo, within the framework of a demonstration supporting the Spanish Republic. By the end of 1937 he settled in Buenos Aires where he frequented avant-guard artists and studied Philosophy and Literature in the University. In this city he shared his atelier with the Chilean artist Miguel Martínez, who introduced him to Gyula Kosice, at the time a teenager dedicated to leather goods.

In 1941 he took part in the founding of a bimonthly newspaper, El Universitario, where he published his political and aesthetic ideas. He was also a member of the editing group for Arturo magazine, issued only once in 1944.

In 1946, following aesthetic divergences, two organizations were formed: the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención and the Madí Group. As a member of the latter, Arden Quin participated in the four exhibitions hosted by the Galería Van Riel and by the Escuela Libre de Artes Plásticas Altamira (Free School of Plastic Arts Altamira) during the last six months of that year. He also took part in the First International Madí Exhibition, organized at the Ateneo de Montevideo, Uruguay. He exhibited polygonal- framed works, movable and co-planar structures, object-pictures, and concave-convex works.

In 1948 he travelled to Paris, where he frequented Michel Seuphor, Marcelle Cahn, Auguste Herbin, Jean Arp, Georges Braque and Francis Picabia, among other vanguard artists. There he had various exhibitions, and participated in the Salon des Realités Nouvelles.

He returned to Argentina in 1954, and together

with Aldo Pellegrini founded the Asociación Arte Nuevo (New Art Association) –integrated by artists of different non-figurative tendencies– that had its first exhibition at the Galería Van Riel in 1955.

Back to Paris he continued with his work, and during this period he introduced collage and découpage to his works, resources that he exclusively used until 1971, when he retook painting. In 1962 he created the Ailleurs magazine, and during that decade he participated in the Concrete Poetry movement.

Among his last exhibitions, his most outstanding ones were hosted by the Galerie Charley Chevalier, Paris (1973); the Galerie Quincampoix, Paris (1977); the Exhibition in Tribute to His Sixty Years, by the Espace Latin-Americain, Paris (1983); the Galeria Niza, Brescia (1986); the Galerie Down Town, Paris (1987); the Gallery El Patio, Bremen, Germany (1988), and the Foundation for Art and Technology, Madrid (1997). In 1998 the Ruth Benzacar Gallery in Buenos Aires organized an important monographic exhibition under the title Carmelo Arden Quin, Paintings and Objects 1945-1995. He also participated in important collective exhibitions, such as Art in Latin America, The Modern Era (1820-1990), at the Hayward Gallery, London (1989); Argentina, Concrete Art Invention 1945, Madí Group 1946, at the Rachel Adler Gallery, New York (1990); Arte Madí Art, at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1997); and the Abstract Art from the Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires and Montevideo 1933/53 exhibition, at The Americas Society of New York (2001).

He died in Paris on September 27th 2010.

Victor Magariños D.

Victor Magariños D. (Lanús, Buenos Aires province, 1924 – Pinamar, Buenos Aires province, 1993). He trains at Escuela de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano, in the city of Buenos Aires, where he would later work as an art teacher. In 1946, he founds and leads the “Grupo Joven,” made up of different artists from his generation. In 1947, he receives the Prins award from the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes. He travels to Paris in 1951 sponsored by the French government, where he interacts with George Vantongerloo, Fernand Léger, Max Bill, and other artists. Back in Argentina, he continues to create and teach in Buenos Aires until 1965. In 1967 he decides to move to Pinamar and seek refuge there, on a sandbank just feet away from the sea, in the rural area. From that location, he stays connected to artistic and scientific communities from all around the world.

Some of his solo exhibitions include the one that happened in the Gallery San Cristóbal of the Instituto de Arte Moderno in 1951, his 1974 exhibition at the Centro Venezolano-Argentino de Cooperación Cultural y Científico Tecnológica in Caracas, in 1984 at the CAYC in Buenos Aires, the one at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in 1986, his 1991 exhibition at the Fundación Patricios in Buenos Aires, in 1999 the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, in the Gallery of Art Van Eyck in 2000 and 2005, the many exhibitions that still take place today at the Víctor Magariños D. House Museum in Pinamar—which he inaugurated

in 2002 and multiple expositions have been held annually and to date; at MUNTREF in 2011, at MACSUR in 2016 and his 2019 exhibition at the Cecilia Brunson Projects gallery.

Some group exhibitions he participated in were the one that took place at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1953, the XXVIII Bienal de Venecia in 1956, the 1963 group exhibition “Del arte concreto a las Nuevas Tendencias” at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, the Premio Di Tella in 1964, the X Bienal de San Pablo in 1969, the 1972 group exhibition “Contemporary Art 1942 – 72 – Collection of Albright – Knox Gallery” in New York, to name a few. In his most recent exhibitions this year, we find the one that took place in Belgium at the Mu.ZEE in February. The exhibition was called “Trans-Atlantische modernismen België-Argentinië. 1910-1958”.

His work is part of the cultural heritage of several national museums such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, the MALBA, MACLA and MACRO. Some international collections that include his works are the MOMA in New York, the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Paraguay, as well as many private collections.