Leopoldo Presas
(Buenos Aires, 1915 - 2009)
La Boca Artists
A panorama of the 20th Century
Leopoldo Presas
Leopoldo Presas was born in Buenos Aires, on February 21, 1915. He studies at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes and continues his studies under Lino Enea Spilimbergo at the Instituto Argentino de Artes Gráficas.
In 1939 he becomes a member of the Grupo Orión, of surrealist tendencies, together with artists such as Luis Barragán, Bruno Venier, Vicente Forte, Ideal Sánchez, Orlando Pierri, Antonio Miceli, Alberto Altalef, Juan Fuentes and the writers Ernesto B. Rodríguez, Juan F. Aschero and Rodolfo Alegre. That year the group exhibits at the Sociedad Argentina de Artistas Plásticos and in 1940 they exhibit at Asociación Amigos del Arte.
In 1946 he makes his first individual exhibit at Galería Callao and starts sending his work to different show rooms, obtaining many awards such as: First Prize at Dibujo del XXXIII Salón de Acuarelistas in 1948; the Premio de Pintura "Raúl Castelui" award at the XXVI Salón Anual in Santa Fe, the Premio Estímulo de Pintura award at the XVIII Salón de Arte in La Plata and the Premio Estímulo award at the Salón de la Provincia de Buenos Aires in 1949. In 1959 he is awarded the Gran Premio de Honor del Salón Nacional and the Palanza Award from the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1963. In 1999 he is honored with the Premio Rosario for artistic accomplishments, together with an exhibition in his honor at the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes “Juan B. Castagnino”.
As of 1949, Presas exhibits at a national and international level. Among his exhibits abroad we can find: Galería Sudamericana in New York and Bienal in Venice, both in 1956; at the Galería Baransky in Río de Janeiro and at the Bienal in San Pablo, both in 1959; The Gallery of Modern Art and Huntington Hartford Collection in New York, in 1967. OEA, in Washington; Muestra Internacional in New Delhi; Museo de Arte de Edimburgo in 1961 and Muestra de Arte Sacro at the Museo de Arte de París, in 1967.
In 1950, encouraged by Marcelo De Ridder, he makes an extensive exhibit at the Instituto de Arte Moderno and, between 1950 and 1951 he travels around Europe and visits France, Spain, Belgium and England. In 1953, he paints, together with Torres Agüero, one of the murals at Galería Santa Fe.
In 1976, he is named member of the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes. In 1979 he settles in Paris, and exhibits his work at the Galería Bellechase and remains there until 1987, the year that he holds an itinerant exhibit in Germany. In 1993, his work takes part in the Argentine Now exhibitat the Fondo Monetario Internacional in Washington and Santa Mónica, California and, in June, 1994, he presents a retrospective exhibit with more than 200 pieces at the Palais de Glace in Buenos Aires.
In 2003 his paintings, together with that of Rosso, Russo, Victorica, among others, are exhibited collectively at the Arte Sacro Argentino, in celebration of the inauguration of the Pabellón de las Bellas Artes de la Universidad Católica Argentina. In 2005 a book about Leopoldo Presasis published: Obras de colección, with an introduction written by Raúl Santana. Between June and August 2006, La Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero organizes the exhibit: Leopoldo Presas. Muestra Antológica.
Leopoldo Presas dies in Buenos Aires on June 12, 2009.