La Boca in Buenos Aires is an area at the frontline of an artistic and cultural revolution. Located inside the city’s designated arts district, this port neighbourhood is now home to a wealth of smaller galleries and large scale art institutions. We round up the best galleries for you to check out in La Boca.
The daddy of all of La Boca’s art galleries, the Usina del Arte is much, much more than just a gallery: it is a cultural institution located in a former power plant. The incredible turn of the century architecture hides a wealth of gallery spaces, a huge auditorium which hosts talks, concerts and performances, as well as a cinema museum. The Usina has a cultural program with something for everyone, from workshops for kids and families to visual arts festivals and gastronomic events.
Usina del Arte, Agustín R. Caffarena 1, Buenos Aires, Argentina +54 11 4909-2076
Benito Quinquela Martin was a local artist and something of a godfather to La Boca. A philanthropist and local hero, this museum is dedicated to the works of Quinquela Martin, as well as celebrating artists from all over the country. The museum’s mission is to encourage the culture of art and community and to inspire the current inhabitants of La Boca to follow in their forefathers’ footsteps and use art as a means of expression and self-identification.
This contemporary art gallery has been on the Distrito de Arte scene for a few years, and showcases exhibitions, installations, performances and digital artworks by emerging and Latin American artists. Recent exhibitions include “Intolerance” by Argentine artist and social media provocateur Amalia Ulman, and the gallery has also participated in fairs by Latin America’s answer to Frieze, ArteBA.
Barro, Caboto 531, Buenos Aires, Argentina +54 11 4978-3759
La Boca’s very own contemporary art museum is situated in the prestigious location of Caminito, one of Buenos Aires’ most visited tourist attractions, which boasts the typical colourful conventillos of La Boca. This white cube gallery has hosted exhibitions by internationally renowned artists, including Ai Weiwei, currently running, and a retrospective last year by the king of blue, Yves Klein. PROA’s calendar rivals that of the MALBA, so be sure to check it out on your visit to this southern neighbourhood.
This pint-sized gallery located on a corner near the Usina del Arte might be volumetrically small, but it is a big hitter when it comes to art. Recently incorporated into the Distrito de Arte circuit, it represents a cross section of some of the best artists from Argentina making art today. Quadro takes on work that speaks to the questioning of artistic life and production, and emphasises collaboration between the gallery, artist and curator.
A quirky space dedicated to muralism and urban art, as well as sculpture, visual art and installations, Espacio Caffarena 86 has been around for a long time and as such is one of the stalwarts of the La Boca arts scene. Housed in a beautiful old house typical of the area, every corner of the space comes alive with energy, and Caffarena puts on lots of community events and activities. Expect to see work by some of the city’s most well known urban artists gracing the walls of the space, from the facade to the garden.
Located in a former fish market in Barracas, the Centro Metropolitano de Diseno, or CMD, is a living, breathing gallery and production space. Carefully restored and renovated, the old warehouse has been given a new lease of life and is now populated by small, creative startups that make everything from lingerie to children’s toys. There are often exhibitions put on in the central nave of the design centre, and it is worth a visit even if just for the stunning architecture itself.