Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection

(Photo by Johnny Shaw)

Located in Puerto Madero, the Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection opened to the public in 2008 and showcases one of the most important private collections of the country. Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat was the richest woman in Argentina and was both known for her influence as an executive in the nineties and her interest in art that led her to be president of the National Fine Arts Fund from 1992 to 2003.

Fortabat’s private collection includes works by prominent local artists such as Xul Solar, Berni, Soldi and Petorutti as well as an interesting display of international art including a stunning Turner, a portrait of Amalita herself by Andy Warhol and paintings by Chagall, Dalí, Witjens and more.

Currently the arts center is also showcasing a temporary exhibit of photographs by Aldo Sessa who has captured different corners of the city through his unique lens.

The arts center is open to the public from Tuesdays to Sundays from midday to 8pm in a beautifully located building overlooking Puerto Madero with great views of the docks.  Guided tours in English can be booked in advance at  +54 (11) 4310-6600 or at Tickets are 35 pesos. Olga Cossettini 141, Puerto Madero. 

Nineteenth Century Argentine Art

(Sin pan y sin trabajo, Ernesto de la Carcova. 1893. Photo by Sebastián-Dario)

Argentina went through a key historical moment in the nineteenth century; in 1816 it acquired its independence.  With it came many issues. Amongst them were disputes about having a centralized or a federal government (one of the causes of the civil war), boundary disputes (one of the causes of the Triple Alliance War, and the Conquest of the Desert), and later, with the expansion of the territory the need for populating the deserted areas and modernizing the country which led to migratory politics that gave incentives to Europeans so that they would relocate in Argentina. All of this led to probably one of the most important issues of the century, which was the imminent need for a national identity that would make people feel a part of the new country.

Throughout this period art played a very important role. Artistic institutions such as the Sociedad Estimulo de Bellas Artes and the Museo de Bellas Artes were founded, and the first postcolonial Argentine artists appeared. On one hand art documented the different defining historical events, and on the other, it helped build the cultural identity by creating its imagery and visual language, which was of course mostly influenced by the European tradition and immigration. Some of the most relevant artists of this period were Pridiliano Pueyrredon, Candido Lopez, Eduardo Sivori and Ernesto de la Carcova, amongst others.

Pridiliano Pueyrredon was both artist and arquitect. He worked on many of the city monuments, the Casa Rosada and the design of the presidential house in Olivos. As an artist he painted many portraits of the Argentine aristocracy, and later on took the pampas and the campo as his theme, exploring the figure of the gaucho. The gaucho was one of the mythified figures by literature and art that was taken as an emblem of Argentine identity.

Candido Lopez began as a photographer and then developed into a painter, he was also a soldier. During the Triple Alliance War against Paraguay he lost his right arm and so he mastered his left hand to paint the many battlefield scenes he had sketched. His large horizontal paintings depicted simultaneous actions as well as surrounding nature and are characterized by the detail of the many miniature figures that comprise them. A large collection of Candido Lopez’s work is exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Eduardo Sivori is considered to be the country’s first realist painter. He was influenced by the French  art scene after traveling there in the late 1800’s and was active in the local artistic circle having founded the Sociedad Estimulo de Bellas Artes, along with the symbolist artist, Eduardo Schiaffino. His works depict Pampa landscapes, nudes  and portraits of many different subjects. After his death the Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sivori, destined to promote Argentine art, was founded in his honor.

Ernesto de la Carcova, after whom the national university of fine arts was named, was a very talented painter who presented two aspects in his works. On one hand, his earlier work showed a strong social content as is the case of the internationally acclaimed Sin pan y sin trabajo, on the other hand, his later work, which accommodated to the demands of the local market at the time, that depict still life’s, nudes and portraits. He was also an important public figure in the art world and took part in many monuments, as well as in public artistic education. He was a very respected artist at the time and was in charge of acquiring European art for the city. Some of his paintings are exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Argentine Pre Hispanic and Colonial Art

(Photo by Historias de Cronopios)

Argentina is well known for its strong artistic identity and its history, as far back as prehistoric times, is reflected in its art.

The oldest registers of art in Argentina are the many cave paintings that remain throughout the country in the provinces of Salta, San Luis, Tucumán, Jujuy, La Rioja, San Juan, La Pampa, Cordoba, Rio Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz. The most famous of these is the Paleolithic Cueva de las Manos (Hands Cave),which is in the Santa Cruz province and has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Later art work by indigenous groups also spanned across the country but mostly flourished in the Northern region, which was the most developed prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.  The materials used in the North, mostly in Salta and Catamarca, were ceramic, metal and textiles on which geometric figures, and both realistic and fantastic representations of humans and animals were engraved. Many of these relics can be seen at the stunning Archeology Museum in La Plata.

With the colonization of America, European style art was introduced. During the early settlements the artwork was mostly religious, with the intention of Christianizing the local indigenous people.

Jesuit painters worked in the Rio de la Plata city (known today as Buenos Aires), Tucuman and Paraguay, and not only incorporated religious paintings and sculptures, but gave the locals artistic education. German Jesuit Florian Pauke’s watercolors of the Argentine colonial period remain as a testimony of the time.

A few years later there was a great influx of foreign artists amongst which Emeric H Vidal, Carlos Pellegrini and Cesar Hipolito Bacle’s work stand out. These artists paved the way for the nineteenth century artists that would define the new Argentine art.

The Museo Hispanoamericano Isaak Fernandez Blanco has an interesting collection of art from the colonial period. Suipacha 1442, Downtown. 4327 0228.

Bye Bye American Pie at the MALBA

(Nan Goldin photography by anti.deity)

The MALBA museum of Latin American Art inaugurates today a much awaited exhibit on American Contemporary Art.

Named after Don McLean’s song  American Pie,  about the loss of  innocence of the 60`s generation, the exhibit explores the cultural transformation of the United States through the pieces of seven renowned American contemporary artists; Jean-Michel Basquiat, Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Cady Nolan and Paul Mc Carthy.

More than a hundred pieces including photographs, installations and paintings from public and private collections will be showcased, kicking off the museum’s 2012 exhibit calendar.

Parallel to Bye Bye American Pie, the museum will also be inaugurating Brailles y relecturas de la Biblia, an important exhibit on Leon Ferrari, an Argentine artist who, like his American counterparts, also explores themes relating to cultural and political dominance.

Both exhibits will be open to the public from the 30th of March to June-July.

Other collections being displayed at the MALBA include their  new acquisitions exhibit, and their permanent Latin American Art from 1945-1990 showcase. However, many of the most relevant pieces of the permanent collection will not be available to the public as they will be displayed in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts until October.

The MALBA also has a monthly program of historic, arthouse and independent films  that are screened from Thursday to Sunday. Find their program here.

Opening hours:

Thursday-Mondays midday-8pm.

Wednesdays- Midday-9pm.

Tuesdays closed.

Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415 , Recoleta


Buenos Aires Art Museums

(photo by majisabel)

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA): Set in the heart of Recoleta, the National Fine Arts Museum has 10,000 art pieces by renown national and international artists such as Quinquela Martín, Pettorutti, Prilidiano Pueyrredón, Antonio Berni, Goya, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, Degas, Chagall and Modigliani amongst many others.  Av. Del Libertador 1473, Recoleta. 5288-9900 .

Museum opening hours
Tuesday to Friday: 12.30 – 8.30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9.30 a.m. – 8.30 p.m.
Monday closed

Museo de Arte Latino Americano de Buenos Aires (MALBA): The MALBA is set in a modern building and showcases an impressive collection of Latin-American art from the twentieth century. The museum, which has become one of the most popular cultural centers in the city, offers a unique collection of sculptures, drawings, paintings, collage, photographs and objects by artists from Central and South America. The museum also hosts film screenings and interesting exhibitions and conferences and has a highly recommendable restaurant.  Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Recoleta. 4808-6500.

Museum opening hours
From Thursday to Monday: 12.00 am to 8.00 pm
Wednesdays: 12.00- 9.00 pm

Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA):  Lovers of modern art are now welcome to visit the recently re-inaugurated MAMBA. The museum, located in the neighborhood of San Telmo, is made up of two exhibition halls with two different collections. “Narrativas Inciertas” is an assembly of pieces by contemporary and up-and-coming local artists. Whilst “El imaginario de Ignacio Pirovano” displays a donated collection which includes both local and international modern art. Av. San Juan 350, San Telmo. 4342-3001/2970.

Museum opening hours
Monday to Friday from 12.00am to 7.00pm

Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00am to 8.00pm.

Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo (MNAD): The Decorative Art Museum is a palace from the beginning of the 20th century. Designed by French architect René Sergent in 1911 and built with European materials it is a great example of French architecture in Buenos Aires. Its marvelous collection of European and Oriental paintings and sculptures, the great hall and the impressive staircase make this place well worth a visit.  Av.del Libertador 1902, Recoleta.  4801-8248

Museum opening hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays from 2.00pm to 7.00pm
Mondays closed

Guided tours in English are available every day at 2pm

Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernandez Blanco: Set in the neo-colonial Palacio Noel, the focus of this museum is Hispanic-American art. An impressive display of antique and religious objects, furniture, silver, and paintings dating back to the 1700´s depict a key historic moment where two very different cultures collided to define what South America is today. The museum also hosts concerts, special exhibits and other cultural events. Suipacha 1422, Downtown. 4327.0272.

Museum opening hours:

Tuesday to Friday from 2pm-6pm

Saturday and Sunday from 12am-6pm.

English tours must be booked in advance.

Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larreta: This Spanish Art Museum, decorated as a Spanish renaissance palace and surrounded by a unique Spanish Muslim garden, was the home of author Enrique Larreta. His extensive collection of sculptures, paintings and furniture mostly from the Renaissance and Baroque periods can be appreciated in this ornamented historical landmark. Juramento 2291, Belgrano, 4784-4040.

Museum Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday  from 1pm-7pm

Saturday from 10am-8pm

Museo de Arte Popular Jose Hernández: Popular art and local artisans work are displayed in this museums, where you will find ceramics, baskets, knits, instruments and other handmade traditional objects made from local materials. Av. Libertador 2373, Recoleta. 4803-2384

Museum opening hours:

Wednesday to Friday from 1pm-7pm,

Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm

Museo de Esculturas Luis Perlotti: Luis Perlotti was a distinguished Argentine sculptor who dealt with native themes and indigenous imagery, as well as producing sculptures and monuments of local characters of the artistic and political scene.  In 1969 he donated his house and workshop in Caballito for its use as a museum. The museum showcases an ample selection of his works as well as displaying sculptures by other renowned Argentine artists. Additionally the museum showcases the late sculptors collections of native textiles and archeological objects acquired on his journeys through Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Pujol 644, Caballito. 4433-3396.

Museum opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 11am-7pm

Museo de Artes Plasticas Eduardo Sivory: Ideally located next to the Palermo rose gardens this intimate museum showcases a collection of Argentine art from the twentieth century. Temporary exhibits are also held in this museum which aspires to promote the local artists and industry. Av. Infanta Isabel 555, Palermo. 4774-9452

Museum opening hours:

Tuesday to Friday from midday-8pm

Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-8pm

Museo de Bellas Artes Benito Quinquela Martín: An impressive collection of Argentine art can be appreciated in this museum set in the heart of La Boca, where its famous resident artist Quinquela Martín donated much of his work in support of the local art industry, and of the education of children through art. Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1835, La Boca. 4301-1080.

Museum opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am-5.30pm

Museo de Xul Solar: This lovely intimate art museum exhibits artists Xul Solar´s  colorful metaphysical dreamlike paintings, and also some of his nutty but brilliant inventions, such as a new global language, and the Panjuego, a game which he made up and played with many of his friends including Borges whose books he sometimes illustrated. Laprida 1212, Palermo. 4824-3302.

Museum opening hours:

Monday to Friday from midday- 8pm.

Saturday from midday to 7pm.

This week in Buenos Aires:


Have some tea and cakes at historical tea house Las Violetas in the location of Almagro before heading to the nearby Centro Cultural Konex for the 7 PM Monday classic, La Bomba del Tiempo. This outdoor percussion orchestra is guaranteed to get your feet tapping and arms swinging in a unique rhythmic experience.

Las Violetas:
Av. Rivadavia 3899

Centro Cultural Konex
Sarmiento 3131
Tel: (+ 5411) 48643200


Visit the Rosedal, a beautiful rose filled park where you can take a stroll or pedal a boat on one of the lakes. Don’t forget to check out the Museo Sivori in the back where you can find a small collection of Argentine art.
Later in the evening starting at 10.30PM  live jazz and tarot readings at Centro Cultural Matienzo.

Museo Sivori/ Rosedal
Av. Infanta Isabel 555
Tel./Fax +54 011 4774-9452

Centro Cultural Matienzo
Matienzo 2424
y Av. Cabildo al 300, Bs. As.
Tel: 15-6526-8080


The Museo de Arte Moderno, recently reopened in the neighborhood of San Telmo and is a great place to check out some of the local contemporary artists. Afterwards take the opportunity to walk through the streets of this beautiful neighborhood and have a cup of coffee at the traditional “Bar el Federal.”
In the evening head out to Uni Club to the Latin Jam party where you can move to jazzy latin rhythms!

Museo de Arte Moderno
Av. San Juan 350 (C1143AAO)
Bar el Federal
Peru corner with Carlos Calvo
Tel: 4300-4313

Latin Jam
Uni Club
Guardia Vieja 3360
4867 6764


The Xul Solar museum is a place filled with the rich imagination of this playful, symbolic  and colorful artist. Guided tours are offered at 4pm.
In the evening head to Thelonious Bar for drinks featuring live jazz music at 9.30PM by Marina Quiroga.

Museo Xul Solar
Laprida 1212
Tel: (54 11) 4824-3302

Salguero 1884 1st floor


Head to the MALBA and check out Grete Stern’s ‘Dreams’, a series of vintage photomontages done by German/Argentine designer and photographer Grete Stern for the Argentine magazine “Idilio” to illustrate the dreams of readers for a segment dedicated to psychoanalysis.

In the evening starting at 8.30PM you can take a beginner tango lesson at “La Catedral”

Avda. Figueroa Alcorta 3415
C1425CLA Buenos Aires, Argentina
T +54 (11) 4808 6500 | 6515

La Catedral
Sarmiento 4006, doorbell 5 (Almagro)
Teléfono: 4342-4794

Saturday and Sunday:

7th Tattoo show- A gathering of tattoo artists, for the daring.
Bauen Hotel- 4-6th of March-
Callao 360 ,
Capital Federal 

Plaza Francia Artisan Fair
A large fair in Plaza Francia where the best local artisans display their array of leather, metal, and  woven goods. A great place to shop and browse after visiting the Recoleta Cemetery.

Flea Market in Colegiales
A wonderful collection of antiques, odd objects and surprising finds! The Market is located on Dorrego and Niceto Vega.