Before the 20th century, art in Argentina stayed mainly with the major trends of European styles. However, during the 20th century, Argentine artists started to develop their own styles that were uniquely their own. During the 1970s, there was a movement of artists called the “New Image Painters,” who created works using ordinary objects but placed in unordinary positions, backgrounds, and situations. The point was to have the viewer create the context as to which it was there. Argentines also followed through some of the major art movements in Europe and America, such as the impressionism, cubism, and the pop art movement. One of my favorite artists I came across is Xul Solar. His work seems like a cross between Pablo Picasso and M.C. Escher.
One popular style that was influenced by Mexico (among other countries) is muralism. Many artists looked around and realized that they were surrounded by blank canvases in the forms of the drab sides of buildings and walls. Starting in the 1920s and 1930s, artists started painting cultural and national scenes in neighborhoods to try to bring the areas up and also as an expression of their social and political ideas.
Architecture and sculpture remains highly influenced by classical European styles. The styles of Spanish, Italian, and French architecture and sculpture of different periods can be seen in cities such as Buenos Aires, Cordova, and Mendoza.
Argentina has produced a plethora of writers, poets, and playwrights. One of its most famous writers is Jorge Luis Borges who’s most famous for his short stories, especially the collections Ficciones and The Aleph. Another writer that I had forgotten who was from Argentina is Manuel Puig. I knew him from reading the play Kiss of the Spider Woman, which was made into a musical in 1993. (Yes, and I will admit that I do own the soundtrack.)
Argentina is also a major producer of films and cinema, producing around 80 full-length films a year. Many of these are considered part of the canon of Spanish-language films. Argentina also boasts that the world’s first animated feature film was not only made but produced there in 1917. It was created by cartoonist Quirino Cristiani and was called El Apóstol. The only copy of the film itself was destroyed in a fire and now considered a lost film. (In contrast, the first animated feature-length film produced in the United States was Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.)
Up next: Music and Dance
Wikipedia: “Culture of Argentina” “List of Animated Feature Films: Pre 1940”