ines blumencweig - diane de polignac gallery portrait

Inès Blumencweig


From Argentina and living in Rome, Inès Blumencweig is a virtuoso artist who creates artworks between painting and sculpture. Her great technical knowledge allows her to master various materials such as metal, wood and ribbons. Her work approaches Spatialism, kinetic art and Arte Programmata, while remaining fundamentally personal and original.


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ines blumencweig - painting bianco nero azzura 1967

Struttura bianco-nero-azzura – 1967

Painted wood and nylon ribbons
84,5 x 64,5 x 10 cm / 33.3 x 25.4 x 3.9 in
Signed, located, dated and titled “Inès Blumencweig Roma – 1967
Struttura-bianco-nero-azzurra“ on reverse

ines blumencweig - untitled 1971 sculpture

Untitled – 1971

Painted wood and nylon ribbons
79,5 x 69 x 3,5 cm / 31.3 x 27.2 x 1.38 in.
Signed and dated “Blumencweig 2/7/1971“ on reverse

ines blumencweig - sculpture blum wood 1975

Blum – 1975

Painted wood and nylon ribbons
22 x 94 x 3,5 cm / 8.7 x 37 x 1.4 in.
Signed, located and dated “Blumencweig Roma 10/4/75” on reverse

ines blumencweig - untitled sculpture wood 1978

Untitled – 1978

Painted wood and nylon ribbons
60 x 60 x 2 cm / 23.6 x 23.6 x 0.8 in.
Signed, located and dated “Blumencweig Roma 25/5/78” on reverse

ines blumencweig - piene e vuoti sculpture wood 1978

Piene e vuoti – 1978

Painted wood
38,5 x 45,5 x 4,5 cm / 15.2 x 17.9 x 1.8 in.
Titled, signed and dated “Pieni e vuoti Blumencweig 1978” under the base
Signed, located and dated “Blumencweig Roma 1978” under the base

ines blumencweig - struttura serie cromatica 1978

Struttura serie cromatica – 1978

Painted wood and nylon ribbons
100 x 87 x 2 cm / 39.4 x 34.3 x 0.8 in.
Signed, located and dated “Blumencweig Roma 13/8/1978“ on reverse
Titled “Struttura Serie Cromatica“ on reverse

ines blumencweig - sculpture struttura esagonale a 2 duplici triangoli 1988

Struttura esagonale a 2 duplici triangoli – 1988

Painted wood and nylon ribbons
90,5 x 81,5 x 2,5 cm / 35.6 x 32.1 x 1 in.
Signed, located and dated “Blumencweig Roma 26/12/88“ on reverse
Titled and dated “Struttura esagonale a 2 duplici triangoli, 88“ on reverse
Inscribed “d’un disegno faisino 1983“ on reverse



ines blumencweig - exhibition catalog 2024 diane de polignac gallery

Structures dynamiques

Catalog 80 pages – Text by Domitille d’Orgeval & Benjamin de Roubaix

The painter Inès Blumencweig’s origins and training (1930-1948)

 Born in Buenos Aires on 16 June 1930, Inès Blumencweig bears the family name of her Polish father, Leonardo Blumencweig, who arrived in Argentina at about fifteen years old. Inès’ mother, Alberta, was also of Eastern European descent. Her family, the Peltzmans, settled in Argentina at the beginning of the 20th century, around the same time as the creation of the Jewish Colonisation Association. Established in London by Baron Maurice de Hirsch in 1891, the association was created to promote the emigration of European Jewish families to Argentina by creating agricultural colonies that would enable them to leave Europe in the face of rising anti-Semitism. These families became known as “Jewish gauchos” (1). 

In 1943, Inès Blumencweig enrolled at the Fernando Fader School of Decorative Arts in Buenos Aires. Inspired by the Bauhaus, the school offered courses in crafts and design. After completing her training at the age of 18, the young artist frequented the studios of Argentine surrealist painters Nélida Demichelis and Juan Batlle Planas (1911-1966). As a result, Blumencweig’s early works were steeped in Surrealist influences. In Juan Batlle Planas’ studio, she met the painters Roberto Aizenberg (1928-1996), Julio Silva (1930-2020) and Victor Chab (b. 1930), with whom she became close friends. 

The 1950s: between surrealism and non-figurative painting

In the 1950s, Blumencweig turned to non-figurative painting and became closely associated with the “Informalist” movement (Movimiento Informalista) that was founded by the Argentinian artists Kenneth Kemble (1923-1998), Luis Alberto Wells (1939-2023), Alberto Greco (1931-1965) and Mario Pucciarelli (1928-2014). In 1952, Blumencweig showed her work at an exhibition at the Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori in Buenos Aires. Two years later, she took part in an exhibition of young Surrealist painters at the Wilenski Gallery, also in Buenos Aires. Blumencweig’s work was also shown at the Galatea Gallery, the Plástica Gallery and the Rubbers Gallery in 1956, 1957 and 1958, respectively. 

The 1960s: travel to United States and relocation in Italy

Inès Blumencweig married Mario Pucciarelli in 1960. That same year, a solo exhibition devoted to the artist was presented at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires. Between 1960 and 1961, works by Inès Blumencweig were included in the travelling exhibition Pintura Argentina contemporánea, which presented Argentinian artists in contemporary art museums in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. 

Mario Pucciarelli won the Torcuato Di Tella national painting award – named after the leading patron of Argentine avant-garde art at the time – and was awarded a scholarship to spend a year living in Rome. The award also meant that Pucciarelli was nominated for the Guggenheim Fellowship, an American prize awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation on an annual basis since 1925. This gave the couple the opportunity to travel to the United States in the autumn of 1960. They visited New York and Washington, where they discovered the Abstract Expressionism movement. It was a major turning point for Blumencweig, who returned from the trip with the desire to make a clean break from the past and approach painting in a completely different way. In this respect, she was perfectly in tune with the artistic trends of the early 1960s, which sought to break away from the painting styles of the previous decade. It was under that impulse that Blumencweig introduced metal into her work. 

(1) The expression was coined by the writer Alberto Gerchunoff in his book Los gauchos judíos (1910). 

Inès Blumencweig and Mario Pucciarelli moved to Rome in 1961, where, thanks to Pucciarelli’s award, they were able to get a studio in the heart of the city, on Via del Babuino. The couple began to sell their works and Blumencweig also earned a living as a journalist writing for art magazines. They decided to settle in Rome for good. 

The 1960s was a frenetic, vibrant decade for the art scene in Italy, marked by movements ranging from Germano Celant’s Arte Povera and the Arte Programmata movement – the Italian branch of kinetic art – to Lucio Fontana’s Spatialism. The Pucciarelli- Blumencweig couple were in contact with a whole community of artists, including Lucio Fontana (also Argentinian), Mimmo Rotella (1918-2006) and Carla Accardi (1924-2014), Antonio Sanfilippo (1923-1980), Umberto Mastroianni (1910-1998), Achille Perilli (1927- 2021), Piero Dorazio (1927-2005), Afro Basaldella (1912- 1976), Aldemir Martins (1922-2006) and Joaquín Roca Rey (1923-2004). 

Blumencweig made a contribution to avant-garde Italian movements by creating canvas works pierced with metal blades. As such, she introduced concepts of rhythm, space and optics to her works, playing on the ambivalent relationship between painting and sculpture. Blumencweig demonstrated great technical virtuosity in her mastery of such materials thanks to her prior training in the decorative arts. The artist called these metal works Structures Sensibles. In 1963, the Miami Museum of Modern Art presented a solo exhibition dedicated to the artist’s work. From 1964 onwards, her work was shown at a number of galleries in Rome, including the Galleria Pogliani and the Galleria P21, as well as the Galleria La Metopa in Bari. 

While continuing her artistic investigations, Blumencweig worked as an art journalist for the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) – the leading news agency in Italy and the fifth largest in the world, founded in Rome in 1945 – between 1965 and 1990. In that role, she wrote commentaries on Italian cultural life and kept a close eye on the latest advances in the arts. Blumencweig also made contributions to Latin American magazines from Rome. 

Works in wood and nylon  

Towards the end of the 1960s, Blumencweig replaced the metal in her works with wooden bases, which she cut, drilled and painted with acrylic paint. The wooden base took on all different kinds of geometric forms, freeing the artist from the traditional rectangular form. Blumencweig then added coloured nylon ribbons that she would stretch, twist and coil on the base, their contortions reminiscent of the coloured bands in kinetic works. 

In 1980, the Galleria P21 in Rome organised what would be Inès Blumencweig’s last solo exhibition for 42 years – until the recent solo exhibition dedicated to her work at the Maison de l’Amérique Latine in 2022. Blumencweig lived in France, between Paris and Nice, from 1981 to 1987. She had several exhibitions in galleries in France, where she continued her work with wood and nylon ribbons before finally returning to Rome. 

Although, as an artist, Inès Blumencweig has always been firmly rooted in the artistic explorations of her times, her work remains relatively unknown. She is often presented as a “foreign artist” in Italy, even though her work has been exhibited there on numerous occasions.

Rediscovering of the work of Inès Blumencweig

Inès Blumencweig’s work was rediscovered in 2020 when a study was conducted into her husband’s work by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA). Founded in 2011 and based in New York, the ISLAA is dedicated to enriching knowledge of modern and contemporary Latin American art through a programme of exhibitions, publications and conferences open to the public, students and researchers. 

Jordi Ballart, project director at the ISLAA and exhibition curator, met Inès Blumencweig at her studio in Rome. He then organised an exhibition at the Maison de l’Amérique Latine in Paris in 2022-2023 entitled Inès Blumencweig, Structures Sensibles. The exhibition paid tribute to the artist through a series of eleven significant works created between 1961 and 1978, on loan from the ISLAA’s collection in New York. As Inès Blumencweig’s first solo show since 1980, the exhibition highlighted her contribution to the Italian art movements of the 1960s and 1970s, notably Spatialism, Arte Povera and Arte Programmata. 

Benjamin de Roubaix & Mathilde Gubanski
© Galerie Diane de Polignac 

With the participation of Jordi Ballart
Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) 

ines blumencweig - portrait photography

 Inès Blumencweig, Rome, 1962. Photo: Alfio di Bella 


Selected collections

Buenos Aires (Argentina), Buenos Aires Museum of modern art 

Buenos Aires (Argentina), Arte de la Argentina Association 

Calasetta (Italy), MACC – Calasetta Museum of contemporary art 

Miami, FL (USA), Museum of modern art 

Montevideo (Uruguay), Museum of modern art 

New York, NY (USA), Institute for Studies on Latin American Art, ISLAA 

Paris (France), Fonds d’art contemporain – Paris Collections 


Selected exhibitions

Solo show, Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori, Buenos Aires, 1952 

Group show, 6 surrealist painters, Wilenski Gallery, Buenos Aires, 1954 

Group show, 4 surrealist painters, Club Cuatro Vientos, Buenos Aires, 1955 

Group show, First modern art fair of Mar del Plata, 1956 

Solo show, Galatea Gallery, Buenos Aires, 1956 

Solo show, Plastica Gallery, Buenos Aires, 1957 

Solo show, Rubbers Gallery, Buenos Aires, 1958, 1961, 1964 

Group show, Arte moderno des Rio de la Plata, Museo Sívori, Buenos Aires, 1959 

Solo show, Galerie Yumar, Buenos Aires, 1960 

Solo show, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, 1960 

Travelling group show, Pintura Argentina contemporànea, presenting Argentin artists in contemporary art museums of Mexico city, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, between 1960 et 1961 

Group show, Barsasky Gallery, Rio de Janeiro, 1961 

Group show, 8 pintores y escultores, Il corso Gallery, Milan, 1961 

Solo show, Museum of modern art of Miami, Miami FL, 1963 

Group show, Argentina en el Mundo, Fundacion Torquato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, 1963 

Solo show, Pogliani Gallery, Rome, 1964 

Solo show, La Metopa Gallery, Bari, 1965 

Group show, Suono-movimento-colore, Il obelisco Gallery, Rome, 1966 

Group show, Immagini di spazio, Feltrinelli Gallery, Rome, 1966 

Group show, Romana e del Lazio Biennale, Rome, 1967 

Group show, 4th Metal Art Biennale, Gubbio, 1967 

Group show, Meduse Gallery, Rome, 1967 

Group show, Participation at the Salvi Price, Sassoferrato, 1968 

Group show, Vision 12 (with Lucio Fontana, Juan Rocca,Rey among others), Italo Latin American Institute, Rome, 1969 

Group show, 10th Quadriennale of Rome, 1977 

Group show, First Biennale of italo latin american graphic technics, Italo latin american Institute, Rome, 1979 

Solo show, P21 Gallery, Rome, 1980 

Rio de Janeiro Museum of modern art, 1981 

Group show, Salon d’automne, Grand Palais, Paris, 1981 

Group show, Salon des Grands et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui, Grand Palais, Paris, 1982, 1983 

Group show, Art+Objet, Grand Palais, Paris, 1984 

Solo show, Inès Blumencweig, Structures sensibles, Maison de l’Amérique Latine with ISLAA, Paris, from October 13, 2022 to January 7 2023 


Selected bibliography

Maria Laura San Martin, Pintura Argentina Contemporánea, Editorial La Mandrágora, Buenos Aires, 1961 

Filiberto Menna, Blumencweig, Pogliani Gallery, Rome, 1964 

Enrico Crispolti, Blumencweig, Nuova Foglia, Macerata, Italy (panorama of modern art collection– graphics), 1971 

Córdova Iturburu, Ochenta Años de Pintura Argentina, Editorial Librería de la Ciudad, Buenos Aires, 1978

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