The permanent collection of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA) contains a vast sample of Latin America’s artistic production from the early 20th century to the present. It includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, objects and installations created by leading Latin American artists such as Frida Kahlo, Emilio Pettoruti, Xul Solar, Antonio Berni, Fernando Botero, León Ferrari and Guillermo Kuitca, among others.
The Museum’s valuable collection elucidates the different variants of the Latin American avant-garde of the 1920s, the diversity of surrealism and the arrival of political expression in art, along with the abstract and concrete movements. The Latin American expressive panorama continues with contemporary artworks that range from Pop art to the conceptualism and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s.
In addition to its permanent collection, MALBA has currently on display “Polesello joven” (Young Polesello), and exhibition that pays tribute to Argentinean artist Rogelio Polesello. The show—on view until October 12, 2015—brings together a selection of 120 pieces from different collections, highlighting a five-meter mural created between 1960 and 1966, which had never been shown in a museum. There are also tapestries, acrylics and paintings that illustrate the artist’s constant experimentation. More about art and culture.
MALBA also exhibits the only buon fresco—still preserved—by the great Argentinean master Antonio Berni, depicting an indigenous theme. The mural had to be removed, relocated, restored and installed in its current location by a team led by restorer Teresa Frias Gowland and architect Marcelo L. Magadan, a job that took six months of intensive work. Next to the mural there are 15 etchings made in 1940 (and printed in 1951), donated by José Antonio Berni, the artist’s son.
Another gem on display is the D’Alessandro Collection of Pre-Columbian Art, consisting of 401 pieces dating from the period between 1500 BC until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. This collection is the product of 20 years of research by Dr. Antonio D’Alessandro and his wife, Raquel Montenegro while residing in Colombia. It is part of the archeological heritage and a crucial testimonial of human activity in Latin American.
Created by the Costantini Foundation, MALBA opened to the public in 2001 with the aim of collecting, preserving, studying and disseminating Latin American art from the early 20th century to the present. This private, nonprofit organization is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of works by the leading artists of the region.
MALBA has been honored as a Site of Cultural Interest by the city of Buenos Aires, and in 2008 it received the Konex Platinum Award for Best Cultural Organization in the last decade. The permanent exhibition is complemented by a calendar of temporary shows, as well as cultural and educational activities. The cinema, literature, and design cycles represent additional programs that attract the participation of a large audience from a diverse background. ■