Xul Solar (1887-1963) is one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, yet he is little known outside of his native Argentina.


Repeatedly, I have asked people with art history degrees about Xul Solar and have been met with only blank stares. Since first seeing Xul Solar’s incredible watercolors two years ago, I’ve been fascinated by his work and the story of his life. His friend Jorge Luis Borges referred to Xul Solar as the most intellectual person that he knew.

Admirers and newcomers to Xul Solar’s artwork are in luck. A wonderful exhibition Xul Solar: Visiones y Revelaciones featuring over 150 of his works are on display at MALBA until August 15, 2005. The exhibition will then travel to the Pinacoteca in Sao Paulo. A beautifully illustrated exhibit catalogue with in-depth essays is also for sale from the museum’s bookstore.

If you cannot visit Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo during the exhibits, be sure not to miss the Museo Xul Solar in Buenos Aires. The museum building itself is an excellent renovation of Xul Solar’s Palermo home.

Reprints of Xul Solar’s paintings do not prepare you for the vibrant colors of the actual works. You really need to see the art of Xul Solar in person to appreciate it fully.

I’m fascinated by the early 20th century avant-garde that existed in Buenos Aires. It was one of the most dynamic cultural movements of the age yet is poorly documented in English. I’ll be posting more about Xul Solar and his contemporaries as I continue my research in this area.