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European art from centuries XII to XIX
Argentinian art from XIX century
International art from the XX century
Argentinian art from the XX century
From Aug. 24, 2022 to Nov. 20, 2022
Rooms 37 to 40
163 works on display
Curator: Cristina Rossi
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With this exhibition the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes dedicates its attention to a long-awaited study of the Uruguayan artist Carmelo Arden Quin, a central cultural figure in the Rio de la Plata area. This retrospective spans his visual work as well as his poetry, in addition to situating his production within a framework that
explores the different artistic groups he formed part of over the years.
In 1935, Arden Quin engaged with the ideas professed by painter Joaquín Torres García, and in 1938, he settled in Buenos Aires, where he attended classes in the Philosophy and Letters department of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, forming ties with students there. The group dynamic he had become familiar with in Torres García’s circle underwent further development by way of texts he read in the University environment—especially regarding Marxist ideas, which he embraced at the time—emphasizing the tendency toward collective work that would characterize his entire career.
Arden Quin played a significant role within the milieu of young poets and visual artists from which the editorial committee for the emblematic magazine Arturo took shape. In the Summer of 1944, it provided the initial spark for the creation of an art based on invention that attempted to unseat the figurative art that was dominant at that time. In 1945, he was part of the inventionist group that presented the first shaped canvas paintings, transformable sculptures and articulated works they denominated “coplanales”. The following year, along with Rhod Rothfuss, Gyula Kosice, Diyi Laañ, Martín Blaszko and Esteban Eitler, among others, he founded the MADI movement. He channeled his interest in working collectively into all these
After his separation from the MADI group, he traveled to Paris, where he re-established it again together with Latin American and European colleagues. Arden Quin maintained his MADI ideas to the very end of his lengthy career, extending their reach beyond the boundaries of France with the creation of the MADI
International Movement, which was joined by artists from Italy, Belgium, Hungary, the United States, Brazil and Venezuela, among other countries.
Argentinean art history has held the period of concrete art from the 1940s in high esteem, and recognized contributions from artists pertaining to the MADI group—as well as from members of the Asociación Arte Concreto Invención and Perceptismo—among whom Arden Quin was an outstanding figure and a key part of that avant garde. Nevertheless, little is known as yet about the impetus he gave to the MADI group in the French cultural context during the 1950s, and about the developments of the MADI International group from the mid-1980s onward.
The exhibition “Carmelo Arden Quin en la trama del arte constructivo” [Carmelo Arden Quin in the Framework of Constructive Art] displays all the variations of his visual work and mobile poems, while at the same time establishing dialogs between these and the production of other artists, some from his work on Arturo magazine, the MADI group, the Centre de Recherches et d’Études MADI on rue
Froidevaux in Paris, the Asociación Arte Nuevo in Buenos Aires and the MADI International Movement. The exhibition proposes a route that will enable viewers to discover the enormous vitality of this creator, who redoubled his commitment to an art that was both plural and playful.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes