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Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona November 10, 2013–January 26, 2014


Berni- Las vacaciones de Juanito

Antonio Berni, Las vacaciones de Juanito, 1972, acrylic, metal, rubber, fabric, and various materials on wood. © José Antonio Berni
 

Antonio Berni, Ramona vive su vida, de la serie Ramona Montiel y sus amigos (Ramona Living Her Life, from the series Ramona Montiel and Her Friends), 1963, xylo-collage-relief, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Duke Energy in honor of Peter C. Marzio and his twentieth anniversary as Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, at “One Great Night in November, 2002.” © José Antonio Berni

Antonio Berni, Ramona en la calle, de la serie Ramona Montiel y sus amigos (Ramona in the Street, from the series Ramona Montiel and Her Friends), 1966, xylo-collage-relief, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Alfredo and Celina Hellmund Brener. © José Antonio Berni

Antonio Berni, Juanito va a la ciudad (Juanito Goes to the City), 1963, wood, paint, industrial trash, cardboard, scrap metal, and fabric collage on board, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. © Lily Berni

 

Antonio Berni, La sordidez (Sordidness), c. 1964, polymateric construction composed of wood, cardboard, plastic, roots, nails, enamel, and metals including steel, iron, and aluminum bottle caps, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Foundation. © José Antonio Berni

Antonio Berni, La gran tentación, o La gran ilusión (The Great Temptation, or The Great Illusion), 1962, oil, wood, burlap, canvas, paper, ornaments, iron, cardboard, plastic, glass, glue, lithographic image, and feathers on plywood, Malba - Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires. © José Antonio Berni

Exhibition Catalogue
MFAH Shop | 713.639.7360

Argentinean artist Antonio Berni (1905–1981) was widely recognized early in his career as a leading painter and promoter of his own brand of "New Realism" in Latin America. But in the mid-1950s, motivated by the social distress and poverty he witnessed in Argentina amid social unrest and the country’s industrialization, Berni abandoned painting for assemblage. He devoted much of the rest of his life to chronicling the tales of Juanito Laguna and Ramona Montiel, fictional characters that he constructed out of trash, machine parts, and other discards from everyday life. Their experiences exposed the undercurrents of Argentinean society.

Within his own lifetime, Berni witnessed his creations—Juanito, a boy of the shantytowns, and Ramona, a working-class woman forced into prostitution—become popular legends and folk heroes. A collaboration between the MFAH and Malba – Fundación Costantini in Buenos Aires, Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona is the first exhibition to focus on this iconic series and Berni’s related series of monumental “Monsters,” as well as the first Berni exhibition organized by a U.S. museum in nearly 50 years.

In-Gallery Extra: Audio Tours in Both English and Spanish
Enhance your exhibition experience and learn more about the artwork on view. You may purchase the optional audio tour at the admissions desks.

Exhibition Catalogue
The illustrated catalogue, published by the MFAH and Malba in association with Yale University Press, is available through The MFAH Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum's Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).


This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Malba – Fundación Costantini, Buenos Aires.

Generous funding is provided by:
Gail and Louis K. Adler
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

The catalogue for this exhibition receives funding from Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.

Location

Caroline Wiess Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
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