Martín Blaszko
(Berlín, Germany, 1920 - Buenos Aires, 2011)
Concrete Art in Argentina
A panorama of the 20th Century
Martín Blaszko
Martín Blaszkowski was born on December 12, 1920 in Berlin, Germany. In 1933 he left the country and settled in Poland, where he studied drawing with Henryk Barczynsky and Jankel Adler. In 1938 he visited Paris and met Marc Chagall. The following year he settled in Argentina. By 1945 he met Carmelo Arden Quin, and both participated in the Madí Group from 1946 onwards. During the 40s he produced paintings with trimmed frames and tridimensional forms that, later, grew upwards becoming monoliths, towers and columns.
In 1952 he designed a project for the Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner, exposed at the Tate Gallery, London, and received an award from the Institute of Contemporary Art of that city. He formed part of the Argentine representation to the II Biennial International Exhibition of San Pablo, and in 1960 his works were included in the Argentine delegation sent to the Biennial Exhibition of Venice. In 1958 he was selected to participate in the Universal Exhibition of Brussels, where he was awarded the Bronze medal. In 1961, Galería Lirolay, Buenos Aires, hosted his Fifteen Years of Sculpture exhibition, with selection and prologue by Germaine Derbecq.
This Berliner artist, who adopted the Argentine nationality in 1959, combined theoretical production with creative work. Among his writings, it is possible to mention La escultura y el principio de la bipolaridad (Sculpture and the Principle of Bipolarity), Leonardo magazine, Oxford (1968); Nace una escultura (A Sculpture is Born), Sculpture International magazine, Oxford (1970); and La realización de una escultura (The Making of a Sculpture), Leonardo magazine, Oxford (1971). In the 9th International Conference of Sculpture, held in New Orleans in 1976, he stated his ideas in the speech Monumental Sculpture and Society.
He achieved significant recognition, as with the Acquisition Award at the Salón de Mar del Plata, 1959; the Grand Award of Honour at the Salón Manuel Belgrano, 1960; the First Award at the Salón de Córdoba, 1960; the Premio Cámara de Representantes de la Nación (Argentine House of Representatives Award) in 1973, and the Open-Air Museum Award, at Hakone, Japan, 1991.
His work Júbilo (Joy, 1986) made on painted aluminium can be seen at the Parque Centenario, Buenos Aires, and El canto del pájaro que vuela (The Flying Bird’s Sing) at Utsugushi-Ga-Hara, Japan.
Among his last more outstanding exhibitions, the one hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (I.A.D.B.), Washington (1984) can be mentioned as well as his participation in Latin American Artists of the XX Century, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1990; Argentina, Arte Concreto Invención 1945. Grupo Madí 1946, at the Rachel Adler Gallery, New York, 1990; Exposición de Arte Madí, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 1997; and in Abstract Art from the Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires and Montevideo 1933/53, at The Americas Society of New York (2001).
He died in Buenos Aires on August 9th 2011