The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Who was Rodolfo Bardi, the pioneer artist in decorating the entrance halls of buildings with murals


It did so during the 60s and 70s and they are still preserved in old buildings in the City and Greater Buenos Aires.

Of all the known supports for making art,

Rodolfo Bardi

felt most comfortable with the most unexpected and original: the walls of the halls of apartment buildings.

Bardi has been the

pioneering artist

who in the


proposed to "decorate" those sad entrances of the conglomerates of condominiums with his own works.

Thus, he replaced the typical paintings of the time that used to have a man with a dog, a house in a forest, a boat on a lake.

Or a mirror.

Or just bare walls.

Over time,

he produced more than 400 works

, a significant number of which are preserved in buildings in the City of Buenos Aires and a few in Greater Buenos Aires.

He promoted an artistic branch

that even summoned consecrated artists such as

Marta Minujín

or Luis Seoane.

At the end of 2022,

Rodolfo Bardi

was presented , a book coordinated by María Cristina Rossi that brings together his work, tells his story and pays homage to the artist who is not always remembered.

The meeting was a well-deserved recognition that his daughter Valeria Bardi witnessed, a constant disseminator of her father's work and a promoter of the care and restoration that those works on permanent display deserve.

Portrait of the artist Rodolfo Bardi with one of his murals.

Photo: Jorge Labrana

You can tour the City of Buenos Aires and part of the Conurbano

viewing the murals that still persist at the entrances of dozens of buildings.

At Concepción Arenal 2323, for example, there is a 2.49 x 1.51 relief worked in marble and copper, starring the fused bodies of a man and a woman looking at the horizon.

Another made of painted cement that exhibits various forms, at Giribone 629. Or two murals that decorate an entrance at Mendoza 3282, based on aluminum, cement, wood, tiles and loaded with symbolism.

Or the triptych in a commercial gallery at Arribeños 2153 (

Barrio Chino

), a cement relief intervened with white paint.

The route continues through

Vicente López, Florida, Lomas de Zamora, Ramos Mejía


It also reached

Mar del Plata



and one survives on the walls of a YPF in the City of


These murals accompanied a key moment in the construction of apartment buildings for the middle class.

The encounter between architectural design and muralism hierarchized the entrance to the towers.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Bardi worked with engineers and architects who were already commissioning him to do these jobs.

The Pisni



architecture studio, the


construction company, the



or direct contracting by consortiums to decorate the entrances of their buildings were the channels for the development of his works.

Bardi used to work alongside the construction trades.

The book quotes the testimony of

Dalmiro Ajalla

, who shared work time with him: "He liked to talk with us, sometimes we ate barbecue together. But

he was different

from us, he had long hair, used a backpack and smoked a pipe. He told us stories and was very joking."

An almost pictorial characterization.

"Rodolfo Bardi", book coordinated by María Cristina Rossi (YOEDITOR, $1,900).

Bardi, the multi-artist

Rodolfo Bardi was born in 1927, in Vicente López, and began painting at the age of 8, when his uncle

José Rufino Bardi,

a figurative painter, took him to the woods of


and introduced him to canvases and oil paints.

In the 1940s, he studied at the

Manuel Belgrano National School of Fine Arts

and later continued at the

Prilidiano Pueyrredón


In 1946 he was part of the Group of friends of Vicente López with

Leopoldo Torres Nilsson


José Arcuri

and was linked to filmmaking.

In fact, in 1947 he collaborated in making

El muro

, an 8-minute short film that was Torre Nilsson's first film.

Ten years later she would venture into the cinema again working on the short

Plastic Continuity

directed by José Arcuri.

Finally, in 1954, Bardi directed an abstract short filmed in 16 mm entitled


that gave an account of the work that he had been doing up to that moment.

Rossi – PhD in Art History and Theory – defines it this way in the book: "the forms that Bardi focused on correspond to the plastic vocabulary that we have been analyzing: straight and curved lines, arrows, dotted lines, striped patterns, outlined or painted circles and squares. , which the camera runs through in the brief time of the short film".

That is to say, a conceptual reflection of the work that he had been producing.

Mural by Rodolfo Bardi, Paunero 2793 (1971).

Photo: Maria Eugenia Cerutti

At the end of the 1950s, Bardi held individual exhibitions in various art galleries, he was part of an avant-garde group called

the Young Group

of which, among others,

Eduardo Mac Entyre

was a part, he participated in the

São Paulo Modern Art Biennial in

1959 and one year later exhibited at the

Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires.

Regarding the Youth Group, one of its members, Torre Nilsson, defined it in a brief, almost gothic manifesto: "...It is the sudden verification of our sadness, sadness is feeling that we are living with the dead, surrounded by the sticky, smelly dead, and who speak to us with their voices of the dead...".

His time in plastic arts was more than promising, it was a reality.

However, Bardi began his mural work in the 1960s, adding to the previous tradition in which the plastic artist was used to compose and complete the scene, forming a unit, thus the work is an inseparable part of the architecture space. .

In 1961, he made a mural in the

La Posta

restaurant in

Mar del Plata

and a cement sculpture attached to the wall in the building at Av. Del Libertador 70, by

Vicente López


He was summoned by those who required a distinction for his buildings: that of his art.

Mural by Rodolfo Bardi, Ortíz de Ocampo 2615 (1969).

Photo: Maria Eugenia Cerutti

The technique used to make the murals was called

“sculptural relief”

, finding

its greatest expressive strength in

geometric art .

He used the oil-painted cement technique, inlaid with copper or aluminum sheets, resin inlays, enameled pieces, or other elements such as shells or stones, to complement the image.

The state of the works

The 23 years that Bardi dedicated to mural work, he spent, for the most part, in family residential buildings.

He united


and plastic arts with a renewed conception that reflected the artistic currents of his time.

Many of the residents of buildings that house these works take care of or clean them, but this is not always the case, and some of them deteriorate and lose beauty and physical integrity.

The heritage value of these murals is still unknown.

Of the approximately

400 works

that Bardi did in buildings, some 150 have disappeared, been demolished or replaced by a mirror, says the caretaker of his work,

Valeria Bardi, the artist's daughter


"There are about 250 left, and of them, half are in good condition, they are restored, cleaned, someone completes them if a bit is lost or broken, there are porters and managers who take care of them.

And there is another percentage that is in poor condition, that the consortium does not take care of, that have chipped paint and that sometimes it was decided to paint them white on top of the colored materials", explains Valeria.

Mural by Rodolfo Bardi, Olazábal 5008 (1972).

Photo: Maria Eugenia Cerutti

The conservation of Bardi's murals has its complications as they belong to the private sphere of a building and do not depend on the care of a public body.

"In order to preserve them, dissemination is needed and that the neighbors become aware of caring for them, they depend on the consortiums of the owners. I made a claim in the

General Directorate of Heritage of CABA

, but they did not give me an answer because they are not on public roads, they are private property. There is a legal vacuum because no one obliges the consortiums to preserve it," explains Bardi's daughter uneasily.

Meanwhile, together with Rossi, they are organizing in the medium term, an exhibition that brings together Bardi's pictorial work produced between 1950 and 1960. Both are in the midst of cataloging everything that Bardi painted before devoting himself entirely to murals. 

the tribute

At the end of December, the book that brings together Bardi's work was presented at the

Victoria Ocampo House

, which today houses the

National Endowment for the Arts


There were María Cristina Rossi, Cecilia Belej, Alicia Santaló (member of the FNA Board of Directors, for the discipline of Architecture and Heritage) and Mónica Pallone.

Valeria Bardi and

Diana Saiegh, president of the National Endowment for the Arts (FNA), also participated.

"They are works that invite you to touch them in order to experience them," says Belej, referring to Bardi's murals that first expressed geometric abstraction and then

"decorative figuration."

"These periods were not isolated; on the contrary, they overlapped and coexisted. In his works he explored various bas-relief techniques in colored cement with metal and enamel inlays. He worked with cement, wood, tile, enameled metal, flagstone, glass, and other materials", emphasizes Belej.

Mural by Rodolfo Bardi.

Concepción Arenal 2323.Photo: María Eugenia Cerutti

For her part, the architect Santaló highlighted that "we found murals that are not known, they are not valued. In a building in Palermo Viejo, I saw a mural and it was whitewashed. We also thought of suggesting that horizontal properties include works of art." 

Fortunately, Bardi not only left his work exposed and open, almost completely, to the public.

He also left notes, notebooks, notebooks, photos, models and sketches that allowed researchers like Rossi, Belej and his own daughter to reconstruct his working method, his aesthetic values ​​and the philosophy applied to his creations.

"Bardi brings art to the common people who pass through the

City of Buenos Aires

. It is available, not only for the public that enters a museum or an art gallery, but also for the passerby of a modern metropolis that enters a commercial gallery or that inhabits one of the innumerable buildings in which his work is present, which gives character to many of the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires", concludes Belej.  

All that remains is for his work to receive the legal protection framework it deserves, the recognition of a particular and unique artistic work that runs the risk of disappearing if it only depends on the good will and interest of the consortiums that, in many cases, are in precarious economic situations.

The murals make up a unique work in its style, support and expression.

The boom in new construction that we are witnessing in the City threatens the maintenance and conservation of the works of Bardi, that man who found a unique space for the enjoyment of art.


look too

They sue the Guggenheim over a Picasso sold during Nazism

Who is the Argentine designer who made the innovative animation of the Shakira and Bizarrap video?

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-01-30

You may like

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.