Biography (1905 – 1981)
Antonio Berni was born in Rosario in 1905. In 1925 he received a scholarship to travel to Europe. In Paris he attended the workshops of André Lhote and Othon Friesz. He discovered surrealism and the scuola metafisica. On his return to Argentina in 1930 he worked on surrealist paintings and collages, which he exhibited in 1932. Strongly influenced by the international and, particularly, the national crisis Berni change his poetic and turned to critical realism. In 1933, he met with Mexican artist Siqueiros, who introduced him to the concept of Mural Art at the service of communitarian issues. Due to the lack of available public walls in Argentina, Berni showed the conflicts of the lower classes on compositions of great dimensions and monumental scale.
In 1941, with a scholarship granted by the National Commission of Culture he traveled throughout Latin America. In 1944, together with fellow artists: Spilimbergo, Castagnino, Urruchúa and Colmeiro he founded the Mural Art Workshop. In the fifties, he began a series of works devoted to the humblest settlers of Argentina to focus on the phenomenon of internal migrations.
In 1959, he experimented with collage; he used this technique in his works featuring Juanito Laguna, a boy from the slums and Ramona Montiel, a low-life prostitute. During this time he also made prints of unusual proportions and revolutionized the xylography technique by introducing the “xylo-collage-reliefs”: xylographic works with collage and prominent reliefs. He died in Buenos Aires in 1981.
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2014. Antonio Berni: Juanito y Ramona, Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA) – Constantini Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2013. Antonio Berni: Juanito y Ramona, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, United States.
2010. Antonio Berni: la mirada intensa, Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation, Málaga, Spain.
2008. La Historia de Juanito Laguna y Ramona Montiel. El imaginario social de Antonio Berni, International Fund of the Arts Foundation (FIArt), Madrid, Spain.
2001. Los monstruos de Berni, Borges Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1997. Retrospectiva, National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1984. Retrospectiva,National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1980. La obra gráfica de Antonio Berni 1962-1978, San Telmo Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1977. The Magic of Everyday Life, Bonino Gallery, New York, NY, United States.
1975. Antonio Berni. Xilocollage-rilievo e tempere, Zanini Gallery, Rome, Italy.
1974. Berni. Témperas. Paisajes y figuras 1951-1959, Rubbers Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1971. Berni, Museum of Modern Art of the Ville de Paris, France.
1970. Berni, The Civic Gallery of Contemporary Art, Arezzo, Italy.
1968. Berni, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1967. El arte de Antonio Berni, Fine Art Palace, Mexico D.F, Mexico.
1965. Berni. Works 1927-1965, Visula Arts Center, Torcuato di Tella Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1963. Antonio Berni, Miami Museum of Modern Art, Miami, FL, United States.
1963. Antonio Berni, Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1957. Berni, Witcomb Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1955. Berni, Creuze Gallery, Paris, France.
1948. Pinturas de Antonio Berni, Argentine Hebrew Society, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1938. Exposición de óleos y témperas del pintor argentino Antonio Berni, Friends from the Arts Association, Montevideo, Uruguay.
1932. Friends from the Arts Association (AAA), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1929. Pinturas de Berni, Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, Rosario, Argentina.
1928. Exposición de óleos y dibujos de Antonio Berni, Saln Nancy, Madrid.
1921. Antonio Berni, Witcomb Gallery, Rosario, Argentina.
Awards and Prizes:
1966: International Engraving Prize, Kraków Biennale, Poland.
1962: Grand International Engraving Prize, 31st. International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennial, Italy.
1943: Grand Prize of Honor, National Hall of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1940. First Prize, National Hall of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina.