MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires / Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires) is a non-profit institution built by Argentine Businessman Eduardo Constantini. It opened in 2001 to host the Constantini Collection as well as to serve as a dynamic cultural centre for art and film exhibitions and the development of cultural activities. Located on the historic Avenida Figeroa Alcorta in Palermo, the museum welcomes over a million visitors every year and is the meeting-place for countless art-lovers across the city.
The Constantini Collection gathers influences from all over the continent. Drawings, paintings, sculptures and objects by artists from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela are exhibited in a collection that entails over five hundred works. The host of modern masters presented include Xu Solar, Diego Rivera, Antonio Berni, Frida Kahlo and Jorge de la Vega. The collections of works encourage visitors to appreciate the coincidences and the differences among the great Latin American artists and to take away new interpretations of Latin American art history. The artwork begins in the period of social and political art of the 1930s, to the surrealism of the 1940s and 1950s, then to the conceptual, minimalist, and pop art of the 1960s and 1970s, culminating with the contemporary.
MALBA has a direct mission. That is to dedicate itself to the preservation, dissemination and integration of Latin American art from the turn of the 20th century to the modern day. This comes through a desire to educate the public to foster their knowledge of Latin American artists, the variety of artistic and cultural holdings on the continent, and sharing this responsibility with both the national and international community.
As MALBA states on its official website, the Museum’s objectives are to “reinsert Latin American art in the world setting, to address cultural and educational needs of the public, to exhibit a broad Latin American art collection and to generate artistic exchange with other cultural institutions.” It achieves these objectives by “the promotion of the most important national and international artists, by the promotion of the knowledge in Latin American art, by the creation of an overall program in educational services, and by the promotion of professional curatorial practice.” The building itself was designed with artistic integration in mind. It was built to complement its surroundings and encourage a natural congress between the art it exhibits and those that come to see it. At MALBA, a bench is not just a bench in this place, visitors rest on lengths of wood that curve, twist and wind up the enormous walls.
Visitors can enjoy the museum from Thursday through to Monday from 12.00 – 20.00 and until 21.00 on Wednesdays. MALBA is closed Tuesdays. Adults pay AR$40 for entrance, with teachers, seniors and students enjoying a cheaper entrance of AR$20. On Wednesday the museum is at its busiest as general entrance is $20 for adults and free for everyone else. Certainly worth a visit if only to enjoy the placid view across the Plaza Republica de Peru at its gourmet Café Des Artes.