Like most extremely wealthy businessmen and women, Argentine real estate developer, venture capitalist, and philanthropist, Eduardo Constantini enthusiastically collected spectacular works of art and unique artifacts. Where he differed from his fellow multimillionaire collectors is that he only collected what he considered the very best of modern and contemporary Latin American art.
The Constantini Collection of 7000 pieces encompasses paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, collages, photographs, installations, and “artist’s objects” all ‘produced’ by various prominent artists in regions from Mexico, the Caribbean, through all the Latin American countries to Argentina.
Once the works became too numerous to keep and display in his private residences, Constantini commissioned AFT Architects to create a private museum in which to share his treasures with the public. A modern, glass-fronted building of exposed brick was designed for him by Alfredo Tapia, Gaston Atelman, and Martin Fourcade.
The stunning series of paintings begin with the 1910 Modernist Movement in Latin America and illustrated by painters such as the Argentine Xul Solar, the self-portrait of Mexican Frida Kahlo and the Brazilian Tarsila do Amaral. From the 1930s to the 1950s there are works of Nuevo Realismo, a Latin American extension of social realism by the Argentine Delesio Antonio Berni, the Chilean Roberto Matta, and the Mexican Diego Rivera. Most of the subject matters of these artists illustrate the social and political undercurrents of their time. Surrealist Catholic traditions come to the fore in Argentine-born Julio Le Parc’s creations whose later works evolve into extraordinary Op and Kinetic pieces.
Prolific Argentine sculptor Pablo Curatella Manes continued to sculpt in spite of having a ‘day job’ as a diplomat posted to the Argentine Embassy in Paris and later to the Argentine Embassy in Athens. On view as well is the work of the Colombian Fernando Botero whose ultra large figures in much-exaggerated volume are a delight. Dozens of other examples of the many ‘schools’ of abstract, figurative, concrete, and non-concrete art among them are represented here by the very best of their Latin American practitioners.
It is a rare privilege to be able to be introduced to and see the works of the best of the best of Latin American artists under one roof, many of whom are not well-known, if known at all outside Latin America and whose art might not have been seen as yet outside their native countries.
Address: Avenida Figuera Alcorta 3415 C1425 CLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: 54 11 4808 6500 www.malba.org.ar
Hours: Thursday – Monday: 12:00 Noon – 8:00 PM Closed Tuesdays
Guided Tours: Wednesday – Saturday: 4:00 PM
Admission: Adults: $8. Students & Seniors: $4.