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El canon accidental

Woman artists in Argentina (1890-1950)


More information

  • From March 25, 2021 to Nov. 7, 2021

  • Room 37-40 / First Floor

  • 80 works on display

  • Curator: Georgina Gluzman

  • Download press kit

The canon is not the natural result of assessment of quality, but rather an arbitrary selection of model artists. It is the product of decisions grounded in a patriarchal conception of culture that systematically excludes women creators. The very conception of the canon and its members has been questioned by feminist criticism of art history. The canon is not indisputable. It is, rather, political and shifting—even capricious. In a word, accidental.

“El canon accidental” presents a wide selection of works produced by women artists in Argentina from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. By making visible their careers, which often included consecration at different venues, the exhibition sets out to examine the paths explored by women as they searched for an artistic identity and a way to make a living. “El canon accidental” includes works by artists at the margins of art history and by others almost entirely unknown today, though they earned the admiration of their contemporaries. They all went from being at the center of the art scene to being, at best, just footnotes to art history.

The “women artists” category has been the topic of debate for decades—and with good reason. It is often said that art knows no gender. Be that as it may, specific artistic practices and aesthetic choices have been inextricably linked to the gender of creators, whether as a limitation or as a possibility. Starting in the late nineteenth century, women made their way into the labor market, universities, politics, and art. The second half of the last century brought new and unexpected challenges to women, whether or not they were artists. But that’s another story.

This exhibition, the first of its kind to be held at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, questions accepted narratives by resituating women artists in the Museum space.

Georgina G. Gluzman


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