Gumier Maier at the National Museum of Fine Arts: the art pioneer of the 90s in Argentina

February 23, 2024 | nadiaevangelina

"From the Margins. Gumier Maier in the 80s" is an exhibition of the artist at the National Museum of Fine Arts before he changed the art scene in the 90s. The proposal curated by Natalia Pineau includes nearly 90 works, many of which have never been exhibited before, including paintings, drawings, illustrations, photographs, publications, and documents.

Gumier Maier
Gumier Maier was a cultural manager and a central figure in Argentine art in the 1990s. He is considered a catalyst of a generation. To make this trajectory known integrally, the exhibition concentrates on the period from 1978 to 1989, precisely the years before his paintings and objects linked to geometric abstraction that Gumier has given great diffusion. The exhibition is dedicated to those years of under and artistic activism to analyze the network of multiple practices he deployed before leaving his indelible mark on local art.

Gumier not only played a key role in the defense of sexual minorities in democracy but also modified the way of thinking and making art once and for all. He gave a place to those who occupied a marginal place because they were not engaged in the painting of the eighties and developed a way of thinking where hierarchies between high and low culture, between design, decoration, and art do not prevail.

After interviewing the artist between 2009 and 2020, the curator gained access to the corpus of works left behind in Gumier's house. From that point on, she exhaustively researched the 80s. Much of the material was restored especially for this exhibition.
Gumier Maier

Gumier Maier

Gumier Maier

As an artist, Gumier's work challenged the boundaries of abstraction with decorative elements and popular culture. Organized into seven thematic nuclei, the exhibition includes numerous works that the artist produced under the influence of avant-garde movements such as surrealism and artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Libero Badii, and René Magritte. Also on view are works whose protagonists are male figures, which recover aspects of the metaphysical painting of Giorgio de Chirico and Lino Enea Spilimbergo. During the 1980s, "Maier linked plastic creation, theatrical and performative performance, the production of scenery and costumes, art criticism, the writing of essays on the gender-sexual question and activism within the homosexual movement," writes the curator.

There is a sensual stamp on many of the works. A series of portraits condenses her love. A man with long hair, wearing a naked torso and white pants, rests on a red armchair. A painting in tempera on scenography paper was presented in his first individual exhibition in 1982 at Café Einstein, a pioneer space of the local underworld. The images of Rodolfo, Lucho, Alexos, Juan Pablo, and Riky follow one after the other. Sensual, resting, or abstracted. This is how Gumier contemplated them.

Gumier Maier

Gumier Maier

"From the Margins. Gumier Maier in the 80s"
Location: National Museum of Fine Arts,  Av. del Libertador 1473, CABA, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Opening Date: 16th December 2023
End Date:24th March 2024
Working hours: Tuesday-Friday: 11am to 8pm/ Sunday-Saturday: 10am to 8pm

Official website: 
Mentioned Artists:
Gumier Maier 

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