Living in Miami, I can tell you for a fact that Latin American art is making its mark on the international art scene at full throttle. I see examples every day in private collections, local galleries and in new art venues such as the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
So naturally, when I had the opportunity to accompany my husband on a business trip to Buenos Aires my first question was, “Where’s the best local Latin American art museum?” The answer was resounding: Museo de Arte Latinomericano de Buenos Aires, affectionately referred to as MALBA!
I wasn’t disappointed. If you’re tired of the crowds at large art museums or want to explore art for an hour or two and not all day or all week and you’d like to learn more about Latin American art, then MALBA is the art museum aperitif for you.
First of all, MALBA is lovely to walk through and there are posters on the walls leading you through a history of Latin American art from the start of the 20th century.
For example, I didn’t know that Latin American artists were a part of the Modernism Avant-Garde movements of Europe in the 30’s, mixing it up with Picasso and Cubism, Expressionism and Futurism. You’ll find examples on display at MALBA.
Also on display, works by artists who represent the politically tumultuous history of Central and South America. Diego Riveraant, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexico), Antonio Berni (Argentina) and Candido Portinari (Brazil) are among artists featured in this category.
These artists often made use of materials, and expressive and technical resources that gave their pieces social dimension. Burlap from a potato sack or tempera paint of a sort used in murals were often chosen, according to an information panel. The painting above by Antonio Berni called “Manifestacion,” consists of egg tempera on burlap.
Frida Kahlo is represented at MALBA in one of her famous self-portraits. I am in this photograph to show the size of the picture.
A large canvas by the figurative artist Fernando Botero is also at MALBA. Known for his large figures both in paintings and in sculptures, his signature style is often referred to as “Boterismo.”
MALBA has more than 200 works from the private collection of Eduardo Costantini. If you visit Buenos Aires, find a lazy hour or two and discover major works by Xu Solar, Diego Rivera, Antonio Berni, Frida Kahlo, Fernando Botero and Jorge de la Vega, among other modern masters from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
When you’re done (or before you begin!), there’s a delightful cafe on the ground floor. Enjoy a little cappuccino with your cultural excursion into Latin American art.