0220 Looking into the Future: Visiting Artists’ Studios in 1880s Buenos Aires
During the 1880s, Buenos Aires witnessed a boost in the project of founding a national art scene. Interestingly, the founding of such a scene implied, in the first place, the creation of a field of art criticism. Due to the lack of official institutes and public support for the arts, the process of imagining and creating a national art took place both on paper and in the studio. As a result, one specific topos that emerges in this period is the visit to the artist’s studio. This new discursive art space is at first sight small and insignificant, yet as the present study shows, its discovery in art criticism was crucial for the elaboration of a new myth, i.e., that of a national art production to come, observable in its actual birth place. The concept of "the visit to the great artist" had a different meaning in Buenos Aires than, for instance, in Paris. Most of the painters or sculptors were not yet viewed as "great artists". They were precursors or national masters to be. The main focus of this article addresses the question of what this means for the representation of artistic practices and what it tells us about the dynamic of the early art scene.