Holiday Gifts 2017
What kinds of gifts can I send to my family and friends in the U.S. while I enjoy the summer warmth in the southern hemisphere? The gift of art—no, not art books, but the actual art on exhibit right now in Buenos Aires. It seems that all my favorite museums here are hosting shows by artists I enjoy and am learning more about all the time. Rather than running around Chicago or online in search of Christmas gifts and traditional holiday foods to prepare, I am spending the week before Christmas visiting the museum shows that are my gift to you, my dear reader, this holiday season.
The venues are numerous. My favorites include the Museum of Latin American Art known as MALBA, the Museum Proa in the LaBoca neighborhood, the Fortabat Museum in Puerto Madero, and various special exhibitions at the Buenos Aires Fine Arts Museum. This holiday season in particular seems to offer the viewer the opportunity to see an exceptional array of works by Frieda Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Remedios Varo, among others in an exhibition of Mexican Art in MALBA, an exhibit entitled Argentina, Colombia, Mexico which includes works from Diego Rivera, Antonio Berni, Fernando Botero, Frida Kahlo (at Museo Fortabat). In LaBoca at the Foundation Próa is exhibiting the works of Chinese artist Al WeiWei. And the list goes on and on!
Belles Artes, the National Museum of Fine Arts, a short walk from my apartment, houses more than 20,000 works of art, and its website offers this quick overview of 50 of the collection’s highlights here: https://www.bellasartes.gob.ar/en/the-collection-highlights. Go slowly, there is so much to enjoy here.
Most recently Bellas Artes wooed me, this time with its current exhibition Miró: la experiencia de mirar [Miró: The Experience of Looking]. The exhibit (through Feb. 25, 2018) includes fifty works—paintings and sculptures–by the Catalan artist Joan Miró (1893-1983) I’ve always enjoyed Miro’s playfulness and use of line and color and these paintings did not disappoint. But more impressive for me were the series of bronze sculptures included in the show. Cast in bronze are a series of bird-woman sculptures evoking Miro’s nature/culture representation.
It wouldn’t be a recognizable show of Miro’s work without his familiar colors, simple lines and symbols captured in paint, and, true to the exhibit’s title, his works offer us the chance to look at bird and woman in paint and clay, transferred as it were from one medium to the other.