BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

A Home for Light and Color

MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

View of the temporary exhibition Yayoi Kusama, “Obsesión Infinita”
View of the temporary exhibition Yayoi Kusama, “Obsesión Infinita”

A wise person once told me that “When the architecture of a museum makes as big of an impression as to what is inside, you can assume that it might be a private foundation!” A statement that is accurate for MALBA – the Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires, a non profit museum of contemporary art, founded by the Argentinian collector and real estate developer Eduardo F. Costantini. Walking down the huge Avenida Alcorta Figueroa on the border of Buenos Aires’ Palermo Chico neighborhood, it’s hard to not be surprised by the huge decontructivist building that throws out juxtapositions of sharp angled limestone.

(l–r) Diego Rivera, ‘Retrato de Ramón Gómez de la Serna‘, 1915; Tarsila Do Amaral, ‘Abaporu‘, 1928; Emilio Pettoruti, ‘La canción del pueblo‘, 1927; Joaquín Torres-García, ‘Calle de Nueva York‘, 1920 – © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
(l–r) Diego Rivera, ‘Retrato de Ramón Gómez de la Serna‘, 1915; Tarsila Do Amaral, ‘Abaporu‘, 1928; Emilio Pettoruti, ‘La canción del pueblo‘, 1927; Joaquín Torres-García, ‘Calle de Nueva York‘, 1920 – © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Francis Alÿs, ‘Don´t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River, Strait of Gibraltar‘, 2008. Photo: Pablo Jantus /Arsomnibus
Francis Alÿs, ‘Don´t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River, Strait of Gibraltar‘, 2008. Photo: Pablo Jantus /Arsomnibus
View of the Permanent Collection. Back wall: Frida Kahlo, ‘Self-potrait with Monkey and Parrot‘, 1942 © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
View of the Permanent Collection. Back wall: Frida Kahlo, ‘Self-potrait with Monkey and Parrot‘, 1942 © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

Once you've entered through the large glass entrance you’ll find yourself in the generously illuminated central hall, and it is there that you realize that this space will be a discovery in itself, not just in terms of architecture. Aside from the Palermo galleries, there aren’t too many places for contemporary art in Buenos Aires where you might find big exhibitions by world stars as Francis Alÿs or Yoko Ono (who is honoring the museum for its fifteenth birthday this year). But this adds to the city’s charm, allowing you to get to know a part of 20th-century art that you might not be familiar with or perhaps not know at all.

Rolling up the central escalator to the permanent collection on the first floor, you enter a whole new world of colors, shapes and esthetics. Here, you get to experience the work of artists you might not have heard of before such as the beautiful paintings of Uruguayan artist Pedro Figari who moved to Buenos Aires in the early 1920’s and was involved in the cosmopolitan circle of Victoria Ocampo and painted the colorful scenes of the life, the dancing, the carnivals of the Montevideos black community. Or the famous painting “Abaporu” by Tarsila do Amaral, one of the most important female Brazilian painters of the 20th Century and leading figure of the Antropofagia Movement. As you walk through the space where photography, painting and sculpture are exhibited next to one another you get an impression of what modernism means in Latin America and how it evolved to famous figures like Lygia Clark, Julio Le Parc, as well as the Brazilian Constructivist Movement and the Latin American Kinetic Art Movement.

Yayoi Kusama, ‘Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life‘, 2011
Yayoi Kusama, ‘Infinity Mirrored Room – Filled with the Brilliance of Life‘, 2011
MALBA‘s auditorium.
MALBA‘s auditorium.

To see what is going on in the artistic scene today you just have to go down one floor and walk through the changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Make sure that before leaving you don’t forget to pass by the library on the ground floor which holds MALBA’s vast selection of books about art, fashion, lifestyle, and of course, Buenos Aires.

Aside from the fascinating collection, visiting MALBA makes you realize one crucial thing: there is still so much to discover and learn about. And for that, you can thank Eduardo F. Costantini.

Annabelle Hirsch is a French and German writer living in Paris. She writes about art and travel for a range of German magazines and newspapers.

All images courtesy MALBA, Buenos Aires.

More Information on MALBA

Collections (95)

Castello di Ama per l’Arte Contemporanea

Site-specific installations for a dual passion: art and wine

Kasteel Wijlre Estate

Art from the 1960s to the present in a modern pavilion

Museum Liaunig

Nuriel Molcho and Francesca Gavin travel out of Vienna to hillside Carinthia, to meet with Peter Liaunig

Fundació Vila Casas

Three buildings, three points of focus: painting, sculpture and photography

Gibbs Farm

A sculpture park in XXL format with monumental art in the grandness of nature

Kloster Schoenthal

Nature-inspired sculptures in a pristine landscape

Pinchuk Art Centre

Blue-chip contemporary in the first private museum in the former USSR

Museo James Turrell — The Hess Art Collection, Colomé

Turrell’s largest Skyspace and additional light rooms in breathtaking surroundings

Kunst(Zeug)Haus

An extensive private collection of Swiss contemporary art of the last fifty years

Mathaf—Arab Museum of Modern Art

A Royal Collection Spanning 200 Years of Arab Art – Doha, Qatar

Sara Piccinini

Senior Coordinator, Collezione Maramotti - Reggio Emilia, Italy

Reflection and Speculation

Sammlung von Kelterborn – Frankfurt, Germany

KaviarFactory

DJ Cassy and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Venke and Rolf A. Hoff in Henningsvær, Norway

Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg

Positions of social criticism in German and American contemporary art – Hamburg, Germany

Houghton Hall

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Lord David Cholmondeley in King’s Lynn, Norfolk

The Walther Collection

Inside and Outside the Frame – Neu Ulm, Germany

Peter Ibsen Collection

Minimalist Works That Hone Your Sense for Detail – Copenhagen, Denmark

Initiating Dialogues

Sammlung Hoffmann – Berlin, Germany

The Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

Andrea Denver and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Sherry and Joel Mallin in Upstate New York

The Agah Uğur Collection

One of the Largest Video Art Collections in Istanbul, Turkey

KA Modern and Contemporary Art Space

900 Square Meters Dedicated to Lebanon’s Most Significant Artists – Beirut, Lebanon

Art About Beauty and Infirmity

Collezione De Iorio – Trento, Italy

Living Collection

Gary Yeh and Francesca Gavin meet with architect and collector William Lim in Hong Kong

Early Passions

Z Collection – Hong Kong, China

Infinite Interiors

Philara Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Papko Art Collection

Works of Turkish Modernism at the legendary Ralli Apartment in Istanbul

Risky Business

Astrup Fearnley Museet – Oslo, Norway

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Patricia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy

Something Special, Something Sacred

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, United States of America

JAHM – Justin Art House Museum

Digital and Abstract Art — Melbourne, Australia

A More Democratic Art

MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Embracing the Accidental

Trajković Collection – Belgrade, Serbia

Galila's P.O.C.

A Collection Made up of Thematic Collections – Brussels, Belgium

Establishing Roots and Creating Links

The Ovidiu Șandor Collection – Timișoara, Romania

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz

Abstract painting and concept art in Brazil’s interior – São Paulo

Conversation Pieces

KUNSTSAELE Berlin – Berlin, Germany

Magazzino Italian Art

Contemporary Italian Art on the Hudson River – New York

Slow Learning

de la Cruz Collection – Miami, United States of America

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

A venue for contemporary African art – Cape Town

The Elliott Eyes Collection

Engaging With the Collectors – Sydney

Foundation Francès

A French roadtrip reaching the radical reflections of artist Kader Attia

The Sublime Hyacinth Collection

Czech Art Meets Czech Design – Prague, Czech Republic

Marciano Art Foundation

Contemporary art at the Masonic temple – Los Angeles

Time Stamps

Julia Stoschek Collection – Berlin, Germany

Generative Grammars

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Chasing the Future

dslcollection – Paris, France

Charged Atmospheres

Transformer Station – Cleveland, United States of America

Places in, and out of, Time

Adrastus Collection – Arévalo, Spain

Eloquent Silences

The Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Counting to Ten

Ten Cubed – Melbourne, Australia

Dispersing Narratives

The Wedge Collection – Toronto, Canada

Dialogues in Nature

Chatsworth – Bakewell, Great Britain

Present Pasts

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Space for the Future

The Vanhaerents Art Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Colección Contemporánea

A Global Collection from a Seasoned Art Collector In Mexico City

Adrastus Collection

A Collection That Shows the Diversity of Art in the Age of Globalization – Arevalo, Spain

Masters and Romantics

Collection Lambert – Avignon, France

Fondazione Rolla

A Collection of Modern and Contemporary Photography in Ticino

Finnish Rhapsody

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

Cranford Collection

One of Europe’s Most Important Collections with Renowned Contemporaries in Regent’s Park – London

Broad Minded

Artist Tomasz Kobialka on The Broad – Los Angeles, USA

Jean-Paul Najar Foundation

European-American Post-Minimalist Art in a Bauhaus-inspired building – Dubai

Treasure Hunt

The Wanås Foundation/Wanås Konst – Knislinge, Sweden

AMC Collezione Coppola

A Curious Collector Acquiring Art to Broaden his Understanding of the World

Newport Street Gallery

Damien Hirst’s ‘Murderme’ Collection finds a permanent home – London

Franks Suss Collection

A Duo Investing in Artists and Not Cashing In – Hong Kong, London and Sydney

Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

A Magic Sculpture Garden in Westchester County – Pound Ridge, New York

Shine On

Wurlitzer – Berlin-Pied-à-Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn

Lavish 18th Century interiors juxtaposed with contemporary outdoor sculpture

Venet Foundation

An Artist’s Take on Collecting in the South of France

G2 Kunsthalle

Large-scale paintings of the New Leipzig School in dialogue

The Immaculate Collection

Igal Ahouvi Art Collection – Tel Aviv, Israel

dslcollection

The best of Chinese contemporary art, available 24/7/365

Thoma Foundation

Two intimate art spaces in Chicago and Santa Fe encourage dialogue between work and viewer

Lyon Housemuseum

Located near Melbourne, Australia, collector Corbett Lyon designed the Housemuseum to share it with the public

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Inhotim – Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico

Portraiture Confronting a Land’s Traumatic Past

The Walther Collection – Project Space New York – New York City

Conceptual Authenticity

Sammlung Barbara und Axel Haubrok - haubrok projects - Berlin, Germany

A Self-taught Collector

Vass Collection - Veszprém, Hungary

Roots in Rotterdam

Concordia Collection - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Louvre goes Lens – and Pinault follows

How France’s most established museum and collector are redeveloping forgotten places

History Reinvented

Insights into the influential collection of Martin Parr

A Collection Which Never Sleeps

David Roberts Art Foundation – Great Britain, London

Get Lucky

David Walsh and his MONA

An Eye into a Secret World

SIP Shpilman Institute for Photography – Tel Aviv, Israel

Gifts for Philadelphia

Private collectors with a generous heart

A New Home for Miami’s Art Scene

On the opening of the Jorge M. Pérez Museum

Prima Materia at Punta Della Dogana

François Pinault Foundation - Venice, Italy

Eric and Jean Cass Collection

A private collection goes public

Bernardo Paz’s Transformative Museum

A closer look at Inhotim in Brazil

The Open Road to Jupiter

Robert & Nicky Wilson - Jupiter Artland

Collecting with an Impact

Dakis Joannou - Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art

Menil Collection Makeover

Starting with the parking lot

White Rabbit Collection

Chinese Contemporary Art – Australia, Sydney