Arts 23/05/11

arteBA brings contemporary art to Buenos Aires, and a colonial-era bronze bell is stolen in Peru.
‘Autorretrato sobre mi muerte’


The twentieth annual arteBA art fair closes today, 23 May. arteBA brings together works by a broad range of contemporary artists and 71 participating galleries across Buenos Aires.

The fair, which opened on Wednesday by invitation only, was also an opportunity for Argentine museums and art institutions to purchase new works for their collections.

In a tradition that has gone on for the last ten years, a jury awards a piece by an up and coming artist to an Argentine institution. This year the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art—MAMBA) received a glass sculpture by artist Lucio Door.

On Thursday artist Carlos Herrera was selected out of seven finalists as the winner of the Estímulo Prize, awarded as part of Petrobras’s cultural outreach. Each of the seven was awarded $12.000 to complete their works, which were exhibited as part of arteBA. Herrera’s piece ‘Autorretrato sobre mi muerte’ (‘Self-portrait of my death’) won him the prize and $50.000.

In other Argentine arts news, 154 artists gathered at the Plaza de Mayo on Thursday as part of the celebration of International Museums Day—celebrated across the continent—to recreate the famous 1909 painting by Luis Sánchez de la Peña.

His canvas ‘Paraguas de Mayo’ (‘The Umbrellas of May’) depicts the events of 25 May 1810, when porteños gathered in the plaza to demand the disbanding of the viceroyalty and a criollo government.

The performance piece was intended to ‘demystify’ art and to make it accessible to a wider audience; artists posed with umbrellas for photographs and film to breathe new life into the work.

A 500 kg 18th century bronze bell was stolen early last Sunday, 15 May, from the ruined church of Santiago Apóstol in Chincha Baja, near Lima. The bell, along with another corresponding bell, was entrusted to Alejandro Jordán of Chincha Baja by the parish priest for safekeeping after the August 2007 earthquake that had damaged the structures of the church.

The thieves stole one bell from his property but left the other behind. Police investigating the case have indicated that the bell was probably stolen at the behest of an antiques collector or vendor.

The bell, cast in bronze and iron, had been manufactured in 1796 for the opening of the church in Chincha Baja.

Bolivian group Azul Azul has broken up, after twenty years together and a million albums sold. Frontman Fabio Zambrana announced the news through tears on Monday 16 May, wearing his traditional black hat.

Their song ‘La Bomba’ was No. 1 Latin track according to Billboard in 2001. The cruceño pop group also performed interpretations of more traditionally Bolivian songs, such as the national anthem and ‘Viva mi patria Bolivia’.


If you have cash to burn–Sotheby’s in New York is this week auctioning pieces by Robert Matta, Fernando Botero, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Miguel Cobarrubias. Next week Casa Morton will be auctioning works by David Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, and Dr. Atl.

An essay on Sábato’s ‘El Túnel’ by Colm Toibin in the Guardian, here.

Chilean group ‘Los Delis’ this weekend released their new album. A preview can be heard here.