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From artists studying at Chile’s Academy of Painting in the 19th century to members of the innovative and controversial 13 Generation and Promoción 80 movements, Chile can boast a number of exciting talents. Santiago’s independent galleries offer an excellent insight into the state and direction of Chile’s contemporary art scene. We discover the best galleries in the Chilean capital.
Tajamar is Santiago’s hidden treasure; this gem of a gallery is sheltered deep inside a gigantic complex of post-modernist buildings in the commune of Providencia. Still relatively unknown, this tiny space is the perfect example of one of Santiago’s hidden cultural spots. Part of this is due to the fact that the gallery is only two years old. Tajamar’s originality is partly due to the fact that all of its walls are made of glass, which means that all the exhibited works can be seen at the same time. The small hexagonal exhibition space focuses on cutting-edge contemporary creations coming from the most promising Latin American artists.
It is difficult to talk about contemporary Chilean art without mentioning Isabel Aninat. Her gallery is known for its pioneering work in the 1980s, when Aninat achieved something that was very new to Chile at that point; bringing together the artist, the work, and the visitor. In addition to this, Aninat is also one of Chile’s most famous representatives at international art fairs. In Santiago, the gallery offers a space that can adapt itself to any media conceived or required by the artist. Its bright and open structure suits the gallery’s mission by providing it with a minimalist elegance of its very own. The gallery constantly tries to expand the frontiers of contemporary art without resting on its laurels, making it a sparkling and exciting place to discover.
The Centro Arte Alameda is a multidimensional cultural center with an interest in all artistic media. Cinema, concerts, exhibitions all find their way into the center’s agenda which, despite its diversity, remains particularly well-balanced and surprisingly coherent. This broad approach to cultural production is also noticeable in the gallery’s public; all groups and individuals will find something appealing happening at the Centro Arte Alameda. This is due not only to the gallery’s multidimensional approach to culture, but also its location – Centro Arte Alameda is located on the Plaza Italia, Santiago’s important traffic axis.
The cultural center Posada del Corregidor has developed into one of Santiago’s most popular cultural hubs. Its laidback attitude and the fact that all its activities are free of charge have contributed to its resounding success. The center is tucked in an 18th century house famous for being a popular meeting spot for Santiago’s bohemians in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1985, the house was transformed into a municipal cultural center. Ever since then, Posada de Corregidor has organized exhibitions, conferences, reading nights, and all sorts of cultural activities that could serve as the perfect introduction to the local cultural scene.
Posada del Corregidor, Esmeralda 749, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2633 5573
Specializing in sculpture, Artespacio is home to Chile’s most important sculpting symposia, and showcases works by important international sculptors on a regular basis. As the name suggests, the use of space and dimension is the gallery’s main and central concern. Its two directors have gathered the necessary contacts and expertise in the art field to elevate Artespacio to the status of a gallery that cannot be overlooked when talking about contemporary sculpture. Chilean artists such as Ignacio Bahna or José Basso have exhibited with Artespacio at the gallery’s headquarters, and at international art fairs.
Artespacio, Alonso de Córdova 2.600, Pisos 1 y 2, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2206 2177
This private gallery founded by two friends and art lovers aims to provide its visitors with a good overview of the different directions contemporary Chilean creation is taking. In this spirit, the two curators take great care in showcasing works that range from more traditional forms of expression to very experimental shores. It should thus come as no surprise that Galeria La Puerta is currently one of the main foundations for the promotion of Chilean contemporary art and a crucial actor in the Chilean art scene.