Buenos Aires – I’ve heard from folks already who just plain think I’m wrong about MALBA and its collection of modern art, in my last post. As I said, there are clearly people out there who like what’s there, or the museum wouldn’t be in business. One thing I forgot to point out, and as my friend Czar reminded me, MALBA is a private collection of an individual, and reflects his personal taste, it is not a curated exhibit with multiple voices going into the decision of what is available to be shown – which might be the source of the love it or hate it reaction that I’ve heard in regard to this venue. But Saturday found me with an unexpected opportunity to look at an entirely different sort of exhibition. I’d seen a posting on a local site about a graphic art exhibit at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, what I’d thought was a small display hall sandwiched between the Recoleta Cemetery and the Buenos Aires Design shopping mall. I’m still not sure how they manage to fit as much space as there turns out to be into that complex, but the center is huge – encompassing I think 18 seperate exhibition halls, and a wide variety of art, plus classrooms and an auditorium. It is built around a series of courtyards, each of which alone is bigger than I thought the entire building was. It’s currently undergoing massive renovation, but the majority of the halls are open. It’s worth getting over there soon, as the central hall is displaying a 25th anniversary of the center’s history photo exhibit – hundreds of photographs of the people and events from the last 25 years of exhibition – fascinating just to wander around and look at.
I have no doubt that I was not supposed to be snapping photographs as I wandered the halls, but I did, and unlike many museums with constantly wandering guardians of propriety, CCR has only a few folks stationed in various hallways, and none in the exhibition rooms themselves. I’m not going to claim that I liked everything I saw, each hall being pretty much dedicated to an individual artist, but I liked a large percentage of it, and with the exception, I think, of the series of pastoral and religious scenes from Fray Butler from the early 20th century, pretty much everything being shown was contemporary art. So here is a sampling of what I liked as I wandered:
A caricatured street scene by artist Juan Becú
Stark “urban landscapes” from Mario Grinbaum
I loved the various caricatures presented by Matías Tejeda, and several of his works were sold, so I guess I wasn’t the only one!
My original point in going there, one of the current “main attractions”, the award winning graphic design of Brazilian artist Felipe Taborda
The one non-contemporary display, the century old pastoral scenes of Fray Guillermo Butler