Artists
Martha Boto1925-2004, Argentina, France
Martha Boto

“I have always been fascinated by the laws of harmony and equilibrium which govern the cosmos through interrelations of light and movement, space, time, and color.”

 

Born in Buenos Aires, Martha Boto was drawn to art as a young child, and her family supported her studies. Between the end of the 1930s and the beginning of the 1940s, she joined the first abstract art movements in Buenos Aires, including the Asociación Arte Nuevo. In 1944, she attended the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes “Ernesto de la Cárcova,” where she took classes in drawing and painting.

 

In the 1950s, Boto showed her work at several Buenos Aires galleries, including Van Riel and Galatea y H. She began to create structures and transparent mobiles in Plexiglas, with colored water, perhaps in dialogue with works being made around the same time by Gyula Kosice. In 1956, she (along with Gregorio Vardanega), co-founded the group Artistas No Figurativos de la Argentina.

 

In 1959, Boto and Vardanega moved to Paris, and she began a new phase of her career. In 1960, she participated in the first Bienal of Paris and she began to explore movement in sculpture. She developed her kinetic works during this time, adding a motor, or colored lights, to her sculptural practice, and focusing upon the effects of movement, illumination, and color; of especial interest was the ability to modify, absorb, and reflect light. To this end, she also began experimenting with different industrial materials, including aluminum and stainless steel. In 1961, she showed her works for the first time at the Denise René Gallery, in the group exhibition Art abstrait constructif international.  Art critics of the time described her works in relation to the genre of science fiction, and with the seeming magic of space travel. Her first solo exhibition at Denise René was in 1969.

 

Boto continued to work, making sculptures and paintings, through the early 2000s. Her works have been included in numerous important exhibitions, including most recently, Real/Virtual, Arte Cinético Argentino de los Años Sesenta, at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lo[s] Cinetico[s] at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain.

 

She died in Paris in 2004.

 

 

SELECTED SOLO AND GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015: Un tournant | A turning point: Antonio Asis, Martha Boto, Horacio García Rossi, Hugo De Marziani, Gregorio Vardanega, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2012: Constructed Dialogues: Concrete, Geometric, and Kinetic Art from the Latin American Art Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA

Real/Virtual, Arte Cinético Argentino de los Años Sesenta, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2009: North Looks South: Building the Latin American Art Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA

2007: Lo[s] Cinetico[s], Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

2006: Contact: Le cyber-cosmos de Boto et Vardanega, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

Light and Shadow, Galerie von Bartha, Basel, Switzerland

Formal Exchange, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, NY, USA and Latin America

2005: Extreme Abstraction, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

Brought to Light: Recent Acquisitions in Latin American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA

Escultura - Objeto - Relecturas en la Colección del Museo de Arte Moderno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2004: Moving Parts: Forms of the Kinetic, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland; Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria

2003: Geometrías Heterodoxas, Museo de Arte Moderno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1998: The Eye's Pop: Op Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

1997: Saint-Lambert Post Office, Paris, France

1996: Galerie Argentine, Paris, France

1993: Espace Bateau Lavoir, Paris, France

1984: In the Mind's Eye: Systemic and Optic Art from the Permanent Collection, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

1978: Kinetic and Optic Painting and Sculpture from the Collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

1976: Centre d’Action Culturelle Les Gémeaux, Paris, France

1972: Kinetic & Optic Painting & Sculpture in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

1969: Galerie Denise René, Paris, France

Contemporary Art Acquisitions 1966-1969, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

1967: Light Motion Space, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

1964: Maison des Beaux-Arts, C.R.O.U.S., Paris, France

1958: Galería H, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1957: Estímulo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1956: Galería Galatea, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1954-55: Galería Krayd, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1952-53: Galería Van Riel, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 
 
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA

Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Latinoamericano, La Plata, Argentina

Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Museu de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

Recklinghausen Museum, Recklinghausen, Germany

Rembrandt van Rijn Foundation, The Cape, South Africa

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
 
 
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