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JUAN CARLOS CASTAGNINO
He was a painter, architect and draughtsman. He was born in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1908.

He graduated from the College of Fine Arts, and then he attended Lino Enea Spilimbergo and Ramón Gómez Cornet’s workshops. He always considered Spilimbergo as a teacher.

In 1933 he joined the founding group of the first union of plastic artists in Argentina. That same year he exhibited in National Exhibition of Fine Arts. Along with Antonio Berni, Spilimbergo and Sequeiros he painted murals in Natalio Botana’s Country House, in Don Torcuato.

Frescos Obreros and Campesinos are two of his most important murals; Ofrenda de la Nueva Tierra in Galerías Pacífico, in collaboration with Lino Spilimbergo, Antonio Berni, Demetrio Urruchua and Manuel Colmeiro.

In 1939 he made his first journey to Europe. In Paris he attended André Lothe’s workshop and then he travelled around Europe to improve his art together with Braque, Léger and Picasso among others.

He was awarded in provincial and national halls. Outside the country he received a medal of honour of painting at the International Fair in Brussels; a Special Prize of Drawing at the II Biennial of Mexico; an Award of Honour at International Hall in Saigon.

He made several individual exhibitions in galleries in Argentina, Ecuador, Lima, Prague, Mexico, Warsaw and Montevideo among others.

In his paintings he was inspired by both suburban and rural landscape and their inhabitants. His works depicted a remarkable drama. While in his early works he used light colours, later he moved on to neutral, low and dark ones.

He was an outstanding draughtsman; he represented movement in such a way that it made his paintings, engravings and drawings about horses special.

Castagnio was always concerned with the problems of his time, and involved in the social political situation.

He died on April 21, 1972 in Buenos Aires.

Since 1982, the Art Museum of Mar del Plata has been called Juan Carlos Castagnino in honour to this great Argentinean plastic artist.

 

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