Argentine Painting since 1920

Historiography of Argentine art coincides in naming Argentine Painting since 1920, as the period when the modernization of the Argentine pictorial language took place. Several events support this view: Emilio Pettoruti, the Paris Group and Alfredo Guttero returned from Paris. Xul Solar, the Artists of the People, the Boca Group and other individualities were active in this period.

María Teresa Constantin

María Teresa Constantín

Article of the guest columnist for

Article of the guest columnist, María Teresa Constantín for

Evolution of Argentine painting since 1920

From different formal and ideological angles -the artists returning to the country knew the language of European avant-garde-, the dominant taste and its arbiters, the official agencies, were contested. Friends of Art, an organization which sheltered new trends, was created.

Annunciation (1928). religious painting from Alfredo Guttero
Annunciation (1928). Religious painting. Detail. Alfredo Guttero

Alfredo Guttero was the binding figure for young artists and the New Salon was organized. By that time, magazines like Prisma, Martín Fierro, Inicial, Plus Ultra, Claridad and Campana de Palo reflected the effervescence in the cultural field.

In this period, there was a tense sharing of the same space of works by Fader and Colivadino, which carried the traditional language, and works by young artists where the presence of modern fine arts (with greater or lesser success) can be traced.

Iconostasis. Pintura. Alfredo Hlito
Iconostasis. Painting. Alfredo Hlito

From then on, it is impossible to make up a list of artists and groups enriching Argentine painting since 1920 without making an unfair omission; every trend and every search were present.

We will mention some landmarks, which marked significant moments for contemporary art:

In 1944, the Arturo magazine, a manifesto for concrete art, is published. In 1951, the Bonino Gallery, whose performance went beyond the frontiers of the country, is created.

In 1948, the Ver y Estimar magazine is published by critic Jorge Romero Brest, who in 1956 was appointed Curator of the National Museum and later, in 1963, Director of the Visual Arts Center of the Di Tella Institute, becoming, through his multiple activities, the impeller of contemporary arts.

Consult the previous chapters of the report:
Pre-Hispanic Period Argentine Fine Arts’ History, Colonial Period Argentine Fine Arts’ History, Argentine Painting from Independence to the 1920


All graphic material in this report is edited digitally. The customized version by shown on this page is performed based on the following documents:

  • Constantin, María Teresa (Art historian) [Images] Collection of images belonging to Museums and other sources, provided by the report author. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Digital Collection Arte del Siglo XX, (20th Century Art) Escuela Argentina
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Alfredo Guttero Anunciación
  • Academy of Fine Arts, Alfredo Hlito, Biography