BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

A More Democratic Art

MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina

MACBA
MACBA

When Aldo Rubino was eight years old, he saw a Wassily Kandinsky reproduction in a local newspaper. The print stood alongside works by other Bauhaus artists, but something about Kandinsky’s mathematical approach stuck with Rubino. He found inspiration in what Kandinsky could do with a line, which led him to push the limits of geometry within his own childhood drawings. Now, decades later, Rubino has become one of the leading collectors of and experts on geometric abstraction with a collection that includes more than 250 works by artists such as Josef Albers, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Sarah Morris, Olivier Mosset, R.H. Quaytman, James Turrel and Víctor Vasarely and is housed in MACBA—the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Buenos Aires.

Amalia Pica, installation view at Pensar en abstracto. Photo: Pablo Jantus
Amalia Pica, installation view at Pensar en abstracto. Photo: Pablo Jantus

Rubino began collecting art in the 1980s and by 2009 the collection had outgrown his Argentinian home to the point where paintings were stored under his bed. Considering his deeply rooted interest in education, in 2011 he launched a public traveling exhibition of his collection that went to Punta del Este, Uruguay and Miami, Florida. The following year, he opened MACBA, which now holds rotating exhibitions and educational programs as well as pieces from Rubino’s collection, including Avall (1975-88) by Víctor Vasarely--a work that proved to be pivotal.

“There were many artists I collected before, but Avall was a key point in going deeper in that orientation,” Rubino says. “One of my favorite types of geometric abstraction is op-art and Vasarely was the father of op-art in Europe.”

Orlan, installation view at Salón Francés Photo: Pablo Jantus
Orlan, installation view at Salón Francés Photo: Pablo Jantus
Daniel Joglar, installation view at Pensar en abstracto. Photo: Pablo Jantus
Daniel Joglar, installation view at Pensar en abstracto. Photo: Pablo Jantus

The black-and-white painting combines lines and geometric shapes to convey a sense of three-dimensionality and movement. When walking from one perspective to another, it appears as though the canvas is shifting with you. In all of its complexities, Rubino and Vasarely both find geometry to be a universally understood language. “When I was young, in school I always played with lines and the Spirograph to make different drawings,” Rubino says. “I think geometry is very deeply ingrained in our daily lives. I find a lot of beauty in geometry and the mathematical possibilities, and that also makes it a more democratic art.”

Since acquiring Avall, Rubino has exclusively focused his collection on geometric abstraction and the represented artists are not geographically centered but rather from various parts of the world. In this way, Rubino’s collection and the works shown at MACBA often establish traces between artistic movements from one location to another. He notes that although artists may have been geographically and politically separated, geometric abstraction has always crossed oceans and borders. “It’s interesting to keep finding artists from different parts of the world and see how they are connected,” he says. His collection and the works publicly displayed in MACBA span generations and continents, from Ennio Iommi’s sculpture Lineal (1948) to Damian Ortega’s work Día (2016). More than just displaying artworks, MACBA also gives visitors plenty of information throughout their visits and also hosts individual courses and workshops as well as organizes university, family and volunteer programs.

Peter Halley, ‘Isolation Confirmed’ (installation view at “Geometric Obsession”) Photo: Pablo Jantus
Peter Halley, ‘Isolation Confirmed’ (installation view at “Geometric Obsession”) Photo: Pablo Jantus

“It’s a big effort in a country that is not easy,” Rubino admits. “We are not rich, but we are really smart in the way we act."

Emily Mcdermott is a writer and editor based in Berlin.
All images courtesy MACBA, Buenos Aires

More Information on Macba

Collections (92)

Fundació Vila Casas

Four buildings, four points of focus: painting, sculpture, photography and temporary exhibitions

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

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

A Home for Light and Color

MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

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