A travelogue of our first trip to Buenos Aires


January 5 - Art

Picture of the day:

Art is a big part of our lives, and we were lucky enough in this apartment rental to have a landlord who's a Buenos Aires-based artist. Her name is Silvana Lacarra, and her studio is actually above the rental apartment. The apartment itself acts as an extension of a gallery, with her work hung on the walls, art books in the office and intuitively pleasing placement of interesting things around the apartment (see the picture of the day above, and a few below).

Interesting aperitif glasses....

Great stained-glass interior doorway...

Re-purposed shoe-stretcher (used for a door stop).

Below is some of Silvana's work; there are nine of these pieces in various colors hung in rooms around the apartment. She works in formica and wood; these are two to three feet in diameter. I quite like them; circles have always appealed to me.

Some previous work by Silvana, also in the apartment...

In keeping with the art theme of today's posting, we went to MALBA, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.

It was quite hot today, in the low 90s F, but not much humidity. The neighborhood around MALBA is very green (and very wealthy we're guessing), so it was a visual relief from the typical cityscape of BsAs to walk to the museum.

Ivy-covered houses...

An interesting facade...

We lunched late in the museum's restaurant Café des Arts, which was both convenient and good. Another menu in English with a non-English speaking server, so lots of pointing and polite conversation. I've figured out that saying 'entiendo' (I understand) is helpful for both me and the server. Craig had a very nice steak sandwich (I guess he didn't get enough steak last night) and I had a tartine with a tapenade of olives and eggplant. The side salad with each dish was welcome indeed!

Rose for lunch (what else in mid-summer in BsAs?), overlooking the park at MALBA!

After lunch, we toured the museum, and found the items from their permanent collection of Latin American artwork from the last century quite impressive.

I was especially taken with Xul Solar's work (here's an English bio, and here's the Spanish one from his museum in BsAs). My favorite in their collection of his work was called 'Cintas' (ribbons), painted in 1924. I've searched but I can't find a version of it online; you'll just have to take my word for it that it was a lovely Surrealist watercolor. There's a museum here in Buenos Aires that's devoted to his work, and conveniently, it's only about two blocks away from our apartment, and is on our list of places to go before we leave.

Another big hit for me was the work of Julio Le Parc, especially his Formes en contorsions sur trame. It was in motion, with small motors turning little arms that moved circles made of aluminum strips. Mesmerizing, and being married to an engineer, I wondered if there was a way we could re-create it on a smaller scale (given that it's about eight feet across). Craig the engineer said he'll think about it.

After a warm walk back to the apartment (with a stop for grocery basics - rose, water!), we decided to picnic in for dinner, for a change from eating out. A nice, relaxing evening after a wonderful, visually stimulating day!


  1. Hi Valyn and Craig,

    Will have to read (more of) the tales you have to tell. My favorite section is the picture of the day!
    Am a little worried about your nutrition:
    "rose for lunch"
    "groceries = rose"

  2. Hi, Valyn and Craig - thanks for the art tour, all interesting, but the shoe stretcher is my favorite (go ahead and say it...). Could you tell if they were possibly shoe lasts (used while making the shoes), or a normal stretcher used by the owner of a pair of shoes? Laurie

  3. Laurie, I have no idea. It was hinged in the middle, if that's any help, and it was very narrow. Would that mean it was a shoe last, instead of a stretcher?

  4. I followed your excellent Blog while we were in Buenos Aires. Now we are considering the apt. you rented on Charcas & Gallo. Could you tell me if you think it would suit 2 couples for a month? And what you felt about the specific neighborhood? We have always stayed in Recoleta and want to get a better feel for this neighborhood, if it is reasonably safe and interesting. Many thanks if you have the time to respond. ~Marilyn Bono

  5. I have been to the museum in Buenos Aires devoted to Xul Solar's work. I just loved it, there are no words to describe it. I am glad they made a whole museum for him. I visited that and other museums in Buenos Aires in what people call "the night of the museums" when they are all open to the general public and there is no entrance fee. Last year I was in an apartment in buenos aires and I was able to enjoy all of these thing.
    Had the best time!



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Eight Days in Buenos Aires by Valyn Perini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.