Alicia Penalba, sculptor.

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“She told us the names of her sculptures as a mother says those of her children.” 
                                                         Alejandra Pizarnik, in "Diario sobre Alicia Penalba"

13/10/16 - National art institutions in Argentina owed Alicia Penalba (1913 -1982) a proper tribute to her work, and the MALBA Museum has decided to take the first step. Curator Victoria Giraudo investigated Penalba's archives for years and gathered pieces to display from private collectors, the  MNBA and the The Fortabat Collection. The result is an interesting exhibition, both in artworks and montage, due to the size and weight of the pieces.
Grand Orolirio, by Alicia Penalba (1959-1962)
Bronze. 5 of 5 / Measures: 140 x 60 x 35 cm
Grand Annonciatrice, by Alicia Penalba (1965)
Bronze / Measures: 92 x 135 x 70 cm
Soleil, by Alicia Penalba (1974)
Bronze. 3 of 8 / Measures: 74 x 97 x 88 cm
Penalba's life story is really moving. Her violent father, a railroad worker, forced the family to move constantly. She had three brothers. two of which committed suicide. At age 35, she divorces her husband and moves to Paris. It is in France that she finds her destiny and reinvents herself, abandoning even her mother tongue.
General view of "Alicia Penalba, Escultora" - Museo MALBA
The artworks of those years reflect her return to life: she creates a series of spiralling shells that indicate that rebirth. Later she transforms bronze sheets into volatile shapes, like wings on a wall. Her work caused much admiration among colleagues and collectors, and even Matisse asked to meet her, painting a portrait of her.
Eclat, by Alicia Penalba (1975)
Bronze. 1 of 8 / Measures: 28 x 22 x 32 cm

Refuge, by Alicia Penalba (1972)
Stainless steel / Measures: 64 x 40 x 62 cm
Double, by Alicia Penalba (1972)
Bronze. 2 of 8 / Measures: 119 x 58 x 58 cm
Without a doubt, Penalba deserved this recognition in her own country, precisely in a year particularly dedicated to female artists.

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Liliana Wrobel


Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani

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