Home > Buenos Aires > MALBA – BA’s modern art museum

MALBA – BA’s modern art museum

It took over two weeks after reaching Buenos Aires before I managed to set foot in the city’s best modern art museum, even though it is right in my neighbourhood of Palermo. Opened this century, the museum will celebrate it’s tenth anniversary this September.

At first glance, the building looks modern 60s design and aside from the silver letters on the side spelling the name of the museum, it could be a 5 star hotel or a conference centre. The entrance hall (like many hotels) has a building height atrium with escalators climbing two floors and gigantic pieces of art hung on the atrium walls.

The museum is deceptively small – much of the space taken up by the atrium and pretty much the entire ground floor given over to a museum shop, large overpriced restaurant and toilets. This is not a criticism however because too many museums which are much bigger in size and contents can make you feel overwhelmed unless you are a serious art lover or academic. Often museums have a bewildering array of different eras, styles, permanent and visiting collections. MALBA on the other hand felt light and focussed.

Pretty much all of the space on the two floors of MALBA has been given over to Argentina’s celebrated artist Marta Minujín. She is prolific to say the least! She seems to have steamed through each style of modern art I have come across and her different works reminded me of everyone from Warhol to Emin. When you first walk into the first
room on the top floor there is an installation of different plates with different foods set up on a long table with a door in its frame slightly ajar.  In the next room you are faced with a room full of structures constructed with different coloured mattresses. One rather large one into which one is nvited to go in, sit and watch television.

Further still and there are costumes hanging from the ceiling. Then a psychedelic telephone box (minuphone) which earned Marta a whole load of praise back in the late 60s. Further along still and you see op art, sculptures, installations (which she likes to call ‘happenings’) – pretty much everything. It came across as though it was a collection of art by different artists. Prolific she might be but her work reminded me of Mr Brainwash (if you haven’t seen the movie about Banksy and many other street artists yet, it’s interesting and very very funny – “Exit through the giftshop”).

All in all, Marta Minujín’s art felt quite dated but it was a breath of fresh air when compared to stuffy old museums full of the same old!

  1. February 19, 2011 at 20:15

    your good

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