Martha Boto

(1925 – 2004)

Argentina

Biography

 

Martha Boto was born in Buenos Aires in 1925 into a family of Spanish origin.When she was very young, she showed a predisposition for drawing and painting, and inherited the tastes of her grandfather and mother for theater, art, and music.  

 

With the encouragement of her mother, she enrolled at the National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires and graduated in 1946, giving her the title of "Professor of Drawing."  The following year, she successfully passed the entrance examination to the highly renowned "Graduate School of Fine Arts," where she deepened her knowledge. She graduated in 1950 and received the prestigious scholarship "Ernesto de la Carcova," which recognizes the best students. Currently alongside her training, she teaches drawing and has a career as a painter. In 1947, two painting prizes were awarded to her, demonstrating her talent and success in painting with her contemporaries.  She was mostly intrigued with capturing landscapes in nature and scenes of daily life, before she turned to geometric abstraction in 1954.

 

Between 1951 and 1960, she had eight solo exhibitions devoted to geometric art. In 1956, she approached advocates of concrete art, who aimed to perpetuate the vanguard which was formed a few years earlier, with the groups "Arte Concreto Invencion," "Madi," and "Arte Nuevo."  As part of the "Arte Nuevo" meetings, she met Gregorio Vardanega who became her lifelong companion. In 1957, she joined the group ANFA (Not Figurative Artists Argentineans) and participated in numerous concrete art events.  In 1958, she traveled to Paris, and then in 1959, she married Gregorio Vardanega. In the early sixties, she joined the Galerie Denise René, which promotes her work, both in Paris and abroad. In 1963, she uses electricity in her work and made her first kinetic works. She collaborates with the international movement "New Trend" in 1963 and participates in the most crucial meetings of this group, whose objective is the recognition of the kinetics. In 1964, she has her first solo exhibition in Paris at the House of Fine Arts. Her famous Lumino-kinetic boxes emerge during this period. Many of these works are presented at the exhibition "Light and Motion," at the Modern Art Museum of the city of Paris in 1967.

 

The following year, she mainly produced mobiles with colored Plexiglas discs. In 1969, the Galerie Denise René organized a major retrospective that traced its kinetic artist course. In the early seventies, Martha Boto made her last kinetic structures devoid of light, inspired by the movement of the stars. In 1972, she gradually returned to painting and more traditional sculptural forms. During the sixties and beyond, she participated in many events in France and worldwide.  Even today, she is represented in exhibitions devoted to geometric abstraction and kinetic art. French and foreign institutions, both private and public, preserve her works. 

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