The National Museum of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires (Argentina) presents until July 14 a retrospective exhibition of the Argentine artist Carlos Alonso (Mendoza Province, 1929). Symbol of social realism and new realism, pictorial currents that took the artistic scene during the twentieth century, Alonso's artwork exhibited in the city of Buenos Aires is the record of a generation of political and disruptive artists in Latin America and, above all, in Argentina.

Ph: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Under the curatorship of Florencia Galesio and Pablo De Monte, Carlos Alonso. Pintura y memoria (Carlos Alonso. Painting and Memory) establishes a journey through the relationships between the formal, conceptual and thematic elements that have constituted, in detail, the aesthetics of Alonso throughout his career. Thus, the works of the Mendoza painter seem to make historical appropriations that exceed the canvases to become a sociopolitical archive. Andrés Duprat, director of the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA), argues that history emerges "as a backdrop, in the form of a vague allusion or occupying the scene fully; while history happens in art, so does the history of art. "

The exhibition is based on two thematic axes. On the one hand, Painting and tradition, where the collages of the Blanco y negro (Black and White) series and other paintings that constantly quote the referents of art history -Lino E. Spilimbergo and Vicent van Gogh, for example- are exhibited. On the other hand, Realidad y memoria (Reality and Memory) illustrates the most recent production of Alonso. This group of artworks reflects on the recent history of the American continent and the social and political context that characterized it: there is exhibited La muerte del ‘Che’ Guevara (The death of Che Guevara) series, for example.

Both axes, however, revolve around the reconstruction of the Manos anónimas (Anonymous Hands) installation, located in the center of the exhibition, like a resonance box that reproduces a great echo. "The lack of validity of the fabric, the brush, the color, makes me despair. [...] in me the easel painting without elements outside of it is an authentic vocation, "said Alonso in the 60s." Alonso's work has an evident unity," the curators explain, "it expresses itself in solidity of his ‘job’, in his way of constructing a pictorial representation, alonsine forms that we recognize when we face a painting of his authorship".



For anyone who intends to access Argentine and Latin American art history, the figure of Carlos Alonso is, without a doubt, an obligation. As described by Duprat, the work of the Mendoza painter "is a thread that tenses, denounces, interpellates and reforms" the political, social and artistic history, manifesting it, in turn, as "irreparable". "Between the allegory and the crude realism, broken by the usual violence, the artist's production runs through themes, forms and questions, with the suspicion that the answer will never change. And that there is horror in it," adds the director of the MNBA.

Exhibited until July 14 at the temporary exhibition pavilion of the museum, Carlos Alonso. Pintura y memoria invites the visitor to discover the artwork of an invaluable artist: criticism, destruction and construction, they coexist in the visual imaginary that all his oeuvre proposes.