Alfredo Lazzari
(Lucca, Italy, 1871-Buenos Aires 1949)
La Boca Artists
A panorama of the 20th Century
Alfredo Lazzari
He was born in Diecimo, province of Lucca, Italy, on May 25, 1871. He starts his artistic training at the Academia del Reino in his birth town and continues in Florence and Rome, complementing his studies with literature and classical languages. He moves to Argentina in 1897 at the age of 26 settles down in Buenos Aires, in La Boca, where he would remain until 1903. Together with Faustino Brughetti, he introduces in our country the fin secular style of the “machiaioli”: a painting conceived from a strain of color, loose strokes and the observation of natural motives. Lazzari befriends the painter Angela Della Valle, who dies in 1903, the year when Lazzari starts a successful teaching career at the Sociedad Unión de la Boca. This institution invites him to organize a course on fine art and to teach young people, most of them port workers. Among his outstanding disciples we find: Benito Quinquela Martín, Juan de Dios Filiberto, Arturo Maresca, Santiago Stagnaro, Vicente Vento and Fortunato Lacámera. Nevertheless, other artists with developing careers such as Thibon de Libian and Miguel Carlos Victorica also seek his council in numerous occasions.
He moves to Lanus in 1904, a rural area at the time, which becomes immortalized in his work of that time. Parallel to his teaching career, Lazzari kept up with his own pictorial work, engravings, ceramics and his motives portraying the humble neighborhood of La Boca with its streets and patios, urban corners and the melancholy of the riverside and its ships. In 1929, he becomes an Argentine citizen and only in 1935, does he make his first individual exhibit at the Witcomb Gallery. He takes part in several national showrooms in 1938, 1942 and 1943. At the same time, he takes part in a collective exhibition organized by the Asociación Impulso de La Boca in 1943, and in 1948, is Honor Guest at the exhibit organized by the Ateneo Popular de La Boca.
He dies in Buenos Aires, on June 26, 1949, at the age 78. The following year his students organize two exhibits in his honor: the first one at the Witcomb Gallery and the second one at the Ateneo Popular in La Boca. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes holds an individual exhibit of his work in 1964, whose rich catalogue was prepared by the painter Julio E. Payró, and who makes the audiovisual presentation about Lazzari’s work. It was during this exhibit that 20 of his pieces were incorporated by said museum donated by Ana Zaino de Lazzari. In 1968, Ediciones Lesague publishes Alfredo Lazzari, un maestro y un pintor, a complete edition of his work and a recompilation of this biography and his teachings as described by Ernesto Rodríguez. The following year, two of his pieces are donated to the patrimony of Museo Municipal de Artes Plásticas “Eduardo Sívori”.
In 1993, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes organizes a retrospective exhibit together with a catalogue that gathers a vast anthology of texts. The following year, his workshop and his production are recognized at the exhibit Un mundo en un barrio (A world inside a neighborhood), organized by the Fundación Lorenzutti and the Fundación Banco Patricios. In 1997, the Museo “Eduardo Sívori” presents the Lazzari y los maestros de la plástica Boquense exhibition. Its catalogue contains an article written by Carlos Semino dedicated to the artist and to the “escuela pictórica de La Boca”. The most recent exhibit of his work takes place at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in October 2000, together with the publication of a catalogue that gathers an important quantity of texts written by Carlos Semino, Luis Felipe Noé, Julio E Payró, Cayetano Córdova Iturburu and Raúl Vera Ocampo. Today, apart from the aforementioned institutions, his work is also displayed at the museums of Bellas Artes de La Boca, Provincial de La Plata and Tandil.