I ♥ Buenos Aires

Barro/ Herlitzka + Faria / Isla Flotante / Nora Fisch / Pasto / Piedras / Rolf Art / Ruth Benzacar

To celebrate arteBA and the art scene of Buenos Aires, mor charpentier invites eight galleries to share the passionate talent of Argentina

I ♥ Buenos Aires

Since our first participation back in 2014, arteBA has been a date to look forward to in our calendars. An opportunity to meet with collectors, colleagues and friends across the Atlantic in a city that we truly love. It was sad to miss an in person edition of the fair last year, so in 2021 we wanted to celebrate the artistic scene of Buenos Aires with the help of eight guest galleries in our Online Viewing Room. The project aims to highlight the diversity and richness of their programs through a selection of works by Argentinean artists. It came as a very pleasant surprise that —without any guidance on our part— every participant chose to feature a woman, and it speaks loudly about the important level of representation of female artists amongst the galleries of Buenos Aires, which is something to be glad and proud of. 

We believe the result is an outstanding selection, representing the multiplicity of languages and techniques amongst the best of the artistic scene of the city. There are important references to the history of Argentina and Latin America. Analysis and deconstruction of images, in the form of cartographies, bills, books and documents seems to be one common point of interest. This form of detournement is often linked to personal and collective memories, and resonates with narratives of domination, control or even violence —either colonial or contemporary. At the same time, we can recognise several practices of resistance, calling for empathy with the others, or yet building poetic artefacts and visions of reality, thus exploring the possibilities of sculpture as a medium. 

For making this possible, we are grateful to the galleries and the featured artists —Erica Bohm, Adriana Bustos, Jimena Croceri, Sofia Durrieu, Cristina Piffer, Mariela Scafati, Candelaria Traverso and Agustina Woodgate— for their talent, passion and precious collaboration.

BARRO / AGUSTINA WOODGATE

BARRO is a contemporary art gallery that works in the representation, positioning and commercialization of important contemporary argentinian artists regarded as boundary-pushing pioneers of contemporary art who have successfully forged prominent careers both locally and internationally. The gallery, with locations in Buenos Aires and New York, has its primary space in La Boca (Buenos Aires’ Art District), an important warehouse of industrial style and port aesthetics of over 400 square meters: the ideal setting for the development of the most risky and contemporary artistic proposals.

Barro opened its doors in 2014 and has held more than twenty five exhibitions. The gallery has participated in national and international art fairs, such as Art Basel (Basel and Miami Beach), Frieze (New York), ARCOmadrid (Madrid) The Armory Show (New York), Contemporary Istanbul (Istanbul), Art Dubai (Dubai), Proyectos LA (Los Angeles), artBO (Bogota), and arteBA (Buenos Aires).

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AGUSTINA WOODGATE (Buenos Aires, 1981) is an artist and researcher investigating public and civic spaces through situated practices. She focuses on the study of systems, the theories of values and the design logics operating in the built environment shaping society. She lives and works between Miami and Amsterdam.

Projects like Concrete poetry and Radioee.net are forms of urban investigations on publishing as a spatializing practice. She traces new mappings dissolving the political limits that organize paradigms, unifies languages, and creates pieces from the discarded surplus of capitalism. She is interested in the ways infrastructure, tools  and information technologies reprogram the geography and people’s experience of everyday public life, and in how design and citizens can shape the conjunctions therein.

Agustina Woodgate’s projects have been commissioned by the 2019 Whitney Biennial, New York; IX Berlin Biennial, IV Istanbul Design Biennial; New Terrains, The Bay Area;  Bienal de las Américas, Denver; PlayPublik, Poland; Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Washington, DC; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Art in Public Places, Miami; Kulturpark, Berlin and KW Institute for Contemporary Art among others.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

HERLITZKA + FARIA / CANDELARIA TRAVERSO

HERLITZKA + FARIA focuses on the dissemination, dealing and promotion of modern, conceptual and contemporary Latin American art.

We represent a selection of distinguished artists in diverse stages of their artistic careers that hold a varied body of work in both themes and practices. In this line, we also offer works from the secondary market by other contemporary artists from the region to broaden and enhance the gallery’s program.

With the high demand for Latin American artworks, our gallery has contributed to form and expand private and institutional collections, including international museums.

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CANDELARIA TRAVERSO (Córdoba, Argentina, 1991) spent her childhood in the Andean province of Jujuy, and returned to her native city to continue her studies at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, where she graduated in Visual Arts. She currently lives in Catamarca, at the foot of the Andean Mountains.

Following the ideas of Josef Albers, César Paternosto and Alejandro Puente, who created systems of geometric and chromatic patterns establishing links between Indoamerican civilizations and the contemporary era, Traverso’s immerses into Pre-Hispanic aesthetics and cosmovision and, in a dialectical exercise, brings and reshapes them into her own art. Such symbolic practice places Traverso among those Latin American artists who embrace an expansive notion of history and tradition to enrich and challenge our perception of the present.

Traverso finds inspiration in the street fairs of the Cholo (native South American Andean people) markets where used clothes from the United States and Europe, reprocessed in China and Korea, are generally sold within the context of vendors of coca leaves, regional food, local groceries and remedies. The artist uses the plastic burlap that wraps the bundles, which traces the path these garments make from the stamps and lettering printed on its surface. With these works, the artist seeks to immerse herself in the practices and ways of inhabiting the world that dates back to Andean ancient times. The results are pieces that reflect stories of exchanges, migrations, syncretism, trade and multiple temporalities.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

ISLA FLOTANTE / MARIELA SCAFATI

ISLA FLOTANTE started as an artist runspace during 2012. It was a mix of artist ateliers and exhibition space. Once a month we gave out a party so it was also a very important place of meeting and socialisation. Throughout the years it became a medular point of Buenos Aires art scene, because of its commitment to show very young promising artists. Over the next years the presence of the gallery at international art fairs contributed to the exponential growth of the project.

The very core of the project is still intact: the young avant garde spirit and the belief on the importance of working with young artists which are showing concerns on an agenda that the gallery itself as a whole organic body feels the need to underline: self criticism of the art world’s strategies of legitimation, power and circulation, problems of gender and identity.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

MARIELA SCAFATI (Buenos Aires, 1973) works from her training as a painter and silk-screen printer, but the techniques is always at the service of some sort of strange formal vitalism. Whether she’s sewing pieces of fabric in order to compose geometries, writing posters that blow up the text messages that were in her phone during a period of activism, or moving her intimate bondage practices to the materiality of the painting, Scafati acts without transitions, providing body and expression to the artwork. In her works, her most personal interests are ever-present: desire, the street, the others. Through this lack of mediation, through the work as direct action, she succeeds in the tough challenge of connecting her experimentations in form with her private and political activism.

Even though she spends most of the time working in group and collaboratively and has played an active role in two of the most relevant collective initiatives of the last decades in Argentina (the Belleza y Felicidad gallery and the Taller Popular de Serigrafía), Mariela is also a unique artist.

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NORA FISCH / ADRIANA BUSTOS

Since opening in 2010 —then a small alternative space— NORA FISCH GALLERY has established itself as one of the pivotal points in Buenos Aires’ vibrant contemporary arts scene, exhibiting some of its most emblematic artists.  The gallery presents a dynamic program of exhibitions selected for its conceptual substance, social relevance, formal accomplishment and its potential historical import.  Aside from exhibitions, it also presents performances, talks and other ephemeral events which draw the local art community. The gallery participates in international art fairs such as Frieze New York and ArcoMadrid.  In 2014 it pioneered a new art neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Villa Crespo. Nora Fisch is a founding and Board member of Meridiano, the Chamber of Contemporary Art Galleries of Argentina.

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ADRIANA BUSTOS (Bahia Blanca, Argentina, 1965) is a multidisciplinary artist whose approach is investigative, concerned with revisiting history and social phenomena. She focuses on finding images that incarnate matters such as colonialism and its effects, the patriarchal gaze, censorship. By re-contextualizing them through juxtaposition and montage, she aims to question how historical knowledge has been constructed and how it affects our perceptions today. Laborious drawing is at the center of her art practice, as a way to symbolically change the energetic load of the images through the handwork of the artist.

Bustos has exhibited her work extensively in over 70 exhibitions, most recently at the Sharjah Biennial 2019; Cosmopolis 2 at Centre Pompidou, 2019 and the 2020 Dhaka Art Summit. Her works are represented in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires; Museum Reina Sofía, Madrid; Kadist Foundation, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art of Medellín; Museum of Contemporary Art of Lisbon; Asiacity Foundation, Singapore; Sharjah Art Foundation, Emirates and Banco de la República de Colombia.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

PASTO / ERICA BOHM

PASTO is a gallery and a platform for the dissemination of contemporary Latin American art. With an exhibition space in Buenos Aires, it exceeds its own physical limits by accompanying the artists in the development of projects in other institutions, both locally and regionally. In a country with a developing market, it assumes its fundamental role as a meeting and dissemination platform and uses that potential to provide visibility to divergent practices and ideas. Experimental proposals, interaction with different audiences and associative work with other actors in the artistic sphere are encouraged. The program includes both solo and group exhibitions, curatorial and research projects. 

PASTO participates in national and international fairs and focuses especially on the regional market with the aim of contributing to the creation of boundaries between artists, curators, critics and collectors of South America. PASTO, as a project of collective growth, faces today’s challenges to uphold a contemporary proposal of quality and to be a space for creative freedom.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

ERICA BOHM (Buenos Aires, 1976) graduated from the Prilidiano Pueyrredón National School of Fine Arts. In 2009 she was a fellow of the Artists Program and in 2012 of the Film Laboratory at the Torcuato Di Tella University. She received the National Fund for the Arts Creation Grant (2008 and 2017). In 2015 she traveled to the Antarctic continent, to the Esperanza and Marambio Base and in 2018 to the Svalbard archipelago in the North Pole. In both trips she carried out several projects in relation to the landscape to think of new ways of interacting with light and time and to investigate different natural, atmospheric and geomagnetic phenomena.

Her interests also revolve around the imaginary about space and its multiple representations: the history of space conquest, the construction of the figure of the astronaut as a 20th century hero, the circulation of images portrayed by the most advanced technology probes, the metaphor of the search for outer space as an escape from reality and, above all, the excuse to portray the journey that images make between us, to or from us.

She has made individual and group exhibitions in different institutions and galleries, such as, Queens Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art of Bogotá, Colombia; Proa Foundation, Buenos Aires; Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; MAMBA, Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires; Sívori Museum, among others.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

PIEDRAS / JIMENA CROCERI

PIEDRAS starts as an artist-run space and discotheque in 2014 and become a gallery in 2015 committed to working on an international arena and to the long-term representation of emerging contemporary artists. Located on an early 20th ́s century building in the neighborhood of Once, Buenos Aires, we represent a small group of artists with a solid and constant career, for whom we are their first gallery. Having two exhibition rooms, each show is designed as an open process where the experimental nature of the project prevails over its commercial potential. The program is scheduled as a dynamic field, including proposals that often show interests related to gender, neoliberal economies and the power of fiction in everyday life. Since 2016 the gallery begun to participate in some international art fairs such as arteBA (Buenos Aires), Material (México), Liste (Switzerland) and ARCO (Spain) among others.

JIMENA CROCERI (Buenos Aires, 1981) is a visual artist who use diverse media. Her artistic practice is characterized by intention and experiment, by resistance and fluidness. In a laboratory method wich isn’t either rational or sterile but more curious than precise her work consists of various elements wich are all protagonists: time, chance, collaboration, correlation and coincidence—they dont diminish autorship but neither do they foreground it. Producing collective knowledge with others around her (humans and no humans) has been very important for her practice for the last years. Using both daily materials and naturally occuring elements her work explores points of flexibility between gestures and rituals wich became new methods for performance, videos, drawings, installations or sound compositions.

Recent residences and prizes include the 2020 Pernord Ricard Fellowship to be artist in residence at the Villa Vassileff (Paris,France), «Coincidencia» by Pro Helvetia in Switzerland and FLORA ars+natura (Bogotá, Colombia). Performances and exhibitions include: Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires Museum of Contemporary Art, Faena Art Center, MUNTREF Museum, Sivori Museum, among others.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

ROLF ART / CRISTINA PIFFER

ROLF ART, located in Buenos Aires and founded by Florencia Giordana Braun in 2009, focuses on contemporary Latin American visual arts. The gallery features works exploring photographic media and its boundaries. The selection of artists considers pieces with an inextricable union between critical density and aesthetic values, the relationship between formal strategies and conceptual depth is always in conflict. The curatorial profile of the gallery first and foremost challenges the political context and the representation of what is considered a political image within the boundaries of the photographic medium. It also considers the social and economical context of artistic production and understands it as a determining factor for art’s interpretation.

The gallery is committed to a select group of contemporary established Latin American artists, promoting them on a national and international basis, and supporting their artistic production together with editorial and audiovisual projects. The gallery’s mission is to promote the appreciation of contemporary art and to push the boundaries of visual arts.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

CRISTINA PIFFER (Buenos Aires, 1953) is a recognized artist with a prominent position on the contemporary art scene internationally, with studies in architecture at the Architecture University of Buenos Aires. Her work proposes to reflect on the tensions that exist between the official discourse and the silenced voices of the protagonists of different episodes of 19th century Argentine history: the confrontations between Unitarians and Federals, the organisation and constitution of the national State and the processes of concentration of ownership of productive lands, after the indigenous genocide during the Conquest of the Desert, also questioning the meaning that official history has given to categories such as identity, country and nation. Her work digs into the folds and sedimentations of history, questions its repressed latencies, its contemporary reverberations. The past does not constitute a closed and definitive instance, but, on the contrary, an open territory to the conflictive bet of a present where the battle is fought for its interpretation.

Piffer participated in the II Biennial of Bahía Blanca (1997), in the III Iberoamerican Biennial of Peru (2002) and in the Biennial of San Pablo-Valencia, Valencia, Spain (2007). She has been awarded with several prizes and recognitions such as: the Artist of the Year Award, Art Critics Association (2002) and the Diploma of Honor, category objects, Konex Awards, (2002), Fondo Nacional de las Artes Grant (2001), Mention of the jury of the Banco de la Nación Argentina Award for Visual Arts (2000), and was selected as a guest artist to participate in the Public Art Project of Puerto Rico (2003), among others.

I ♥ Buenos Aires

RUTH BENZACAR / SOFIA DURRIEU

Since its founding in Buenos Aires in 1965, RUTH BENZACAR has been committed to the promotion of contemporary art, focusing on the work produced by Argentinian artists. The gallery’s annual calendar includes six exhibitions which take place in its primary warehouse space. In 2021 the gallery renovated an adjacent property and inaugurated a second exhibition room that will allow it to house additional shows.

Following its conviction that contemporary art is an important social and political actor in every context, Ruth Benzacar organizes and hosts other events such as public conversations, book presentations and performances that accompany and enrich the contents of each exhibition.

Ruth Benzacar has been a pioneer in the insertion of Latin American art in the global scene. It has also been able to generate and maintain a strong international presence due to its consistent participation in art fairs and its long-standing connections with curators, institutions and collectors worldwide. Ruth Benzacar has participated in fairs like ARCO Madrid (since 1988) and Art Basel Miami Beach (since 2001).

I ♥ Buenos Aires

SOFÍA DURRIEU (Buenos Aires, 1980) studied Fine Arts (Prilidiano Pueyrredón), Philosophy, and Graphic Design (UBA). At some point, her time and energy turned fully to taking care of her mother, who became ill and was also considered a “high-complexity psychiatric patient”. She believes that growing up in contact with that situation allowed her to see and experience the world both ‘from’ and ‘beyond’ the inherent complexities of form and structures. In 2018, Durrieu moved to Basel to attend the Master program of Arts at the Institut Kunst FHNW HGK, from which she graduated on August 2020. She currently lives and works between Switzerland and Argentina.

In the past recent years her practice has focused on sculpture, installation and performance that tend to propose situations where both the works and the people have to meet in order to be transformed in a joint experience. Generally speaking, her work tries to examine where, among the objects, discourses and “standard” constructions of contemporary behavior and domestic life, the possibility of a rupture appears, with the aim of pushing perception beyond its functional conditioning. Issues regarding functionality and the violence inherent to the code of the efficiency-oriented paradigm are often present. Everyday objects, systems, and categories are extracted from the contexts that give them meaning and their attributes are used for uncertain purposes: coherent actions lead to non-logical results, where the binary logic of opposites does not stand.  

Her solo shows include Magenmund (performance, Palazzina, 2019, Basel), Remote Control (Pasto gallery, 2018) , Strange body (Sputnik, 2016), How to dissolve a stone (Mundo Dios, Mar del Plata, 2015). Some performances were, Outoforder (Kunsthaus Baselland, 2020), Caryatid (2019, Kasko, Basel, Switzerland), Puppet-me (2018, Ruth Benzacar and 2019, Arco Madrid), Corrida(2017, CCK, curator Rodrigo Alonso), Affirmation (2016, Sarmiento National Theater).

I ♥ Buenos Aires