Art abounds in Argentina – explore galleries from across the country with our guide to the nation’s best.
Buenos Aires and beyond: Zurbarán
Zurbarán‘s story starts with a starry-eyed twenty-something couple in Buenos Aires in 1976. The pair, Ignacio Gutiérrez Zaldívar and Margarita O’Farrell, were serious art lovers; Zaldívar bought his first painting at the age of 13. So, even though it was kind of a crazy time in Argentina, the couple went into debt and rented a space — and voilá, Zurbarán was born. Their project has a grander scope than most galleries, however. In fact, Zurbarán’s press agent Javier Zenteno said they don’t even like calling it a gallery. To them, galleries are intermediaries, places where artists are often charged to show their work, be listed in catalogues, have their openings catered, and so on.
By contrast, “we’re art merchants,” Zenteno explained by email. “Our work is to help and collaborate with the artists, or at least that’s what we try to do so they can just focus on creating, and not on the photography, the catalogues, the brands.”
Today, Zurbarán is considered a gateway for Argentine art. They operate two sites in Buenos Aires that host numerous exhibitions, lectures, and other events. Zurbarán represents over 20 contemporary artists and 30 well-known deceased Argentine artists, among them Leopoldo Presas, Pompeyo Audivert, and Raúl Soldi.They also operate showing rooms in other parts of Argentina, one in Pilar, which puts on four exhibitions a year, the other in Santa Fe.
Zurbarán: El Arte de los Argentinos, Cerrito 1522 (1010), Buenos Aires ,+54 11 4815 1556
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-9pm, Saturdays 10am-1pm
Colleción Alvear de Zurbarán, Avenida Alvear 1658, Buenos Aires, +54 11 4811 3004.
Hours: Monday-Friday 12pm- 8pm, Saturdays 10am-1pm
Art in Che Guevara’s hometown: Rosario
What better place to see art than the birthplace of a revolutionary? Rosario’s Diego Obligado Gallery of Art is a finely-curated venue focused exclusively on emerging and established artists from Rosario and Santa Fe. Their goal is to become the reference point for Argentine art in the interior of the country. It’s well worth a visit before checking out Che Guevara’s old apartment and other fun activities in Rosario.
Diego Obligado Gallery of Art, Güemes 2255, Rosario, +54 34 1430 7720
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 5.30pm-9pm
Art at the end of the world: Ushuaia
The art gallery in Ushuaia, the city “at the end of the world,” is located in the barracks of an old prison and is part of a large museum complex. The gallery promotes local artists and puts on several exhibitions every year. Note: Entrance fee to the museum is required to access the gallery.
Hours: Open daily April-November, 10am-8pm; December-March, 9am-8pm
Art from the mountains: Córdoba
Atelier Jupiter is located in the mountainous central province of Córdoba, a verdant area known for attracting back-to-nature types. The project is run by artists Ana Gilligan and Martín Kovensky and represents nearly a dozen artists, all local. Gilligan told me by email that “we are aware of the fact that we live in contact with nature, and this is reflected in our thinking and, at the end of the day, the work we produce.” The collective works to boost awareness of local artists in the country and build local community. When in Córdoba, hit it up.
Atelier Jupiter, Belgrano 337, La Cumbre, Córdoba, +54 35 4845 1684