It is with great joy that we present this new website, one of the many initiatives that the current directorial team is implementing to position the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, founded in 1956 by a decree of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, as an iconic museum in the city and a leader in its field in Argentina, Latin America and across the world.
Since 2013 we have striven to establish a new model for public museums in Argentina: an independent budget made up of a combination of public and private contributions; an outstanding team of professionals – we’re proud to be the first museum in the country with a multifaceted curatorial team of ten or more curators and researchers who make new discoveries and generate original ideas every day; up to date, world-class collection management systems and procedures; and a vibrant programme of exhibitions, educational activities and publications for a wide-ranging audience that reflects the dynamism and richness of the artistic community in Argentina past and present.
With the support and trust of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires throughout these past five years we have been able to lay the foundations for this work and complete many important steps in every aspect of the Museo’s work:
- We have created eight new professional departments: Curatorial, Exhibition Coordination, Exhibition Design and Production, Publications, Education, Marketing and Communications, Fundraising and General Services in addition to the existing departments of Director, Patrimony, Conservation, Library, and Administration. Top class professionals joined an existing team that was ready to develop and grow. The result is a museum that never falters in its quest for excellence. In these efforts, I have had the invaluable support of the Directorial Department, especially Joaquín Rodríguez and Marina von der Heyde, who work hard and closely on each step that the Museum takes.
- The Curatorial team – which is fortunate to be able to count on the talent and enthusiastic dedication of the curators Javier Villa, Sofía Dourron, Carla Barbero, Laura Hakel and María Amalia García— is constantly working on exhibitions of artworks from the Museo Collection and major exhibitions of Argentinian and international art featuring pieces from artist’s studios and public and private collections. For each we have adopted a concept we call ‘universes of meaning’, which provides visitors to the museum with a coherent experience as they visit the different exhibitions because they are all connected in some way, be it historically, thematically or aesthetically. Together with guest curators and museum associates, we are proud to have opened more than fifty first rate exhibitions, many of which marked the first time that the Argentinian artist in question had been exhibited in a museum, or had a book published about them. We also do a great deal of international work. In 2016, thanks to the efforts of the Exhibitions team led by Micaela Bendersky, we presented the exhibition Picasso: Beyond the Likeness, featuring drawings selected by the Museo from the collection of the Musée National Picasso Paris. Other notable exhibitions and projects include those by Jerôme Bel, Gabriel Lester, Laura Lima, Bernardo Ortiz and Tracey Rose. We are also extremely proud to be hosting the mega-exhibition Historia de dos mundos (A Tale of Two Worlds), which is showing at the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) in Frankfurt until 2 April, and will then travel from Germany to Buenos Aires with its more than 500 artworks to celebrate the opening of our newly renovated building on Av. San Juan 350 on 7 July, 2018. This major international exhibition was co-curated and co-organized by the Moderno and the MMK. In addition to the work of the Curatorial team, every exhibition the museum holds is notable for the creative contribution and research of the Exhibition Design and Production team led by Iván Rösler, which has shown itself on countless occasions to be able to design and build the framework for very different shows with incredible skill and precision, providing invaluable support for new works by contemporary artists as well as ambitious recreations of historic artworks.
- With our experimental music and cinema cycles Escuchar (Listen) and El cine es otra cosa (Cinema is Something Else) curated by Leandro Frías and Jorge Haro, and Andrés Denegri and Gabriela Golder respectively (both coordinated by Valeria Orsi), the Moderno is presenting innovative new concepts in sound, image and technology and introducing the public to new ways in which to perceive moving images, soundscapes and audiovisual output.
- At the Publishing Department, which was founded by Rubén Mira in 2013 and since 2015 has been led by Gabriela Comte, we have so far published a total of 29 books that reflect the Museo’s extensive research into Argentinian art. We have brought out special publications dedicated to Alberto Greco, Emilio Renart, Antonio Berni, Liliana Maresca and the Ignacio Pirovano Donation. The publishing team also works on exhibition catalogues, many of which constitute the first major publication to focus on the artists in question. This is true, for instance, of our books on the work of ABTE, Marina De Caro, Ana Gallardo, Sebastián Gordín, Graciela Hasper, Fabio Kacero, and Edgardo Antonio Vigo. During 2018, we hope to be able to distribute these books to 100 public libraries and another 100 carefully selected libraries across the globe.
- The Education team hasn’t stopped growing. The department was founded by Marina De Caro in 2013 and was taken over in 2017 by Patricia Rigueria. The initiatives it implements account for 80% of our weekday visitors. The vibrant schools and universities programme includes personalized visits and free training for teachers, while the ‘Museum Goes to School’ programme seeks to work with school leadership to create multi-disciplinary institutional projects and educational materials for the classroom. The department also runs a Communities programme through which we are reaching out to elderly and disabled people so we can bring the Museo to everyone. In addition, we have set up a Workshops and Activities Programme to promote creative thinking and participation in association with the exhibitions. Meanwhile, a programme of Conferences and Debates is in the works and looks set to begin in 2018.
- The Patrimony Department is proud to count on the advice and support of Marcelo E. Pacheco, Patrimony Advisor, and to have begun, in 2014, an Acquisitions Programme that has allowed us to add works by Elba Bairon, Antonio Berni, Elda Cerrato, Juliana Iriart, Fabio Kacero, Fernanda Laguna, Margarita Paksa, Hernán Soriano, and Osías Yanov, among others, to the Collection. It is important to us that we acknowledge several extraordinarily generous donations: the Ferrari family for its donation of 72 drawings by León Ferrari in 2014; Marta Minujín for her donation of the reconstruction of La Menesunda según Marta Minujín (originally created with Rubén Santantonín) in 2015; the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection for her donation of eight works by Ernesto Ballesteros, Alejandro Corujeira, Matías Duville, Eduardo Navarro, Elizabet Sánchez and Judi Werthein in 2017; Almendra Vilela for her donation of major works by her mother Liliana Maresca in 2018; and the artists Artur Lescher, Bernardo Ortiz, Luis Terán, Judi Werthein, among others. Thanks to the general coordination by Valeria Semilla, we have incorporated the collection management software The Museum System, and begun an ambitious digitization process through which we are seeking to upload the Museo’s historical archive and make it available online. This work is supported by a crowd funding platform through the Art Basel Cities programme.
- At the Conservation Department, we have refurbished the Conservation Laboratory and in 2017 the Museo’s Head of Conservation, Pino Monkes — a leading specialist often consulted by museums from across the world — opened the Conservation School/Laboratory, which we hope will soon be taking in professionals from museums across the country for professional training seminars at our museum.
- The Library, which is currently located at Alsina 963, is in the midst of a major move, with its most important volumes packed up in preparation for their transfer to a new home at Avda. San Juan 350. We are happy to know that our public, both general and specialized, will have easy access to our archives and that young people, art lovers and curious visitors will be able to read artistic publications at our home.
- The Communications team, initially run by Rubén Mira, María Sibolich and Lucía Ladreche, has from 2013 onwards created a new visual identity for the Moderno. Today, the team lead by Tomás Peper is growing apace, as can be seen in this website, which we are proud to be presenting as it provides a new channel of communication on which to promote all our activities and projects and thus expand our reach. These and other activities are part of our commitment to expanding the Museo’s presence in different spaces so that more and more people can enjoy the art in which we are so involved.
- The Fundraising team led by Betina Pucciariello is working tirelessly to attract the companies and donors that will help us to achieve the drive that every public museum with ambitions to be at the forefront of its field needs. We are especially grateful to our strategic ally Banco Supervielle and our Friends Association which, like the Museo itself, has undergone profound change and is currently professionalizing and developing new programmes to bring in new Friends. We are grateful to Larisa Andreani, its President, Roberto Álvarez and Chantal Erdozain, Vice-Presidents, and Abel Guaglianone from the Directorial Committee, all of whom have helped Larisa to organize the two extremely important annual fund-raising galas. At the Association, we remember with special fondness Emmanuelle Supervielle, who was a part of the Friends Directorial Committee and did so much for the strategic alliance with Banco Supervielle, the Friends Association and the Museo de Arte Moderno.
- The Administration Team is working to create a transparent and straightforward administrative environment under the leadership of Vicente Sposaro for the public branch, and Verónica Velázquez for the accounting and financial affairs of the Museo.
- Our building at Avenida San Juan 350 meets every standard for conservation and safety of the visiting public and the artworks and this is thanks to the dedication of Gabriel Durán, Head of General Services. We are proud of our teams at Reception, Security and Maintenance, who are always on hand and attentive and create such a friendly atmosphere for our visitors.
In July 2018, a new stage will begin in the evolution of the Moderno’s physical headquarters. After the construction of the building on Avda. San Juan overseen by Estudio Sánchez Elía and Sepra Arquitectos in 1989, (a project heavily supported by María Rosa Bemberg and the Builder Members invited by the Friends Association – which was at the time presided over by Arch. Santiago Sánchez Elía), in 2010 Laura Buccelato opened the new expanded and renovated building. This was made possible by the support of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires and Arch. Emilio Ambasz, who donated his architectural work. Today the Museo is open to two thirds of its capacity but thanks to the continued support of the government, in August 2017 we began work on a new phase of expansion that will provide us with an overall infrastructure of 11000m2 as designed by the Architect Carlos Sallaberry and the studio M/SG/S/S/S (Manteola/ Sánchez Gómez/ Santos/ Solsona/ Sallaberry/ Vinson). In July 2018, the Museo will double its exhibition galleries, add a new shop/café and incorporate the Library as well as opening new spaces for educational workshops and providing a new circulation format to enhance the visitor experience. The new building will represent a major expansion for the exhibition and education programmes and also, of course, in the number of visitors that can be catered for.
This new stage is of course dependent upon the foundations laid by all those who went before and the inspirational leadership of directors such as Rafael Squirru, the museum’s founder, Hugo Parpagnoli, Guillermo Whitelow, Roberto del Villano, Raúl Santana and Laura Bucellato.
I would like to use this space to thank the entire team at the Moderno for their dedication, commitment and constant support in each and every facet of the Museo’s work.
Finally, I would like to point out that all of these achievements were made possible by artists in all their different disciplines, the collectors, the institutions who loan their works, the authors of our books and the Government of the City which enables us to achieve our objectives, ambitions and dreams so that between us we can keep on surprising and delighting every single one of our visitors. We are sincerely grateful to you all.
See you soon!
Victoria Noorthoorn, Buenos Aires, January 2018