Manuel Espinosa

Manuel Espinosa was born in 1912 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and died in 2006.

Espinosa was a leading protagonist in the history of Argentine Modernism. In 1943, Espinosa met Joaquín Torres-García, the founder of Constructive Universalism. This meeting had a profound effect on his approach to painting. Two years later, he co-founded the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invencion with Tomás Maldonado, Alfredo Hlito and Raúl Lozza in Buenos Aires. Harnessing a certain post-war optimism, the group stopped painting from life and instead focused on geometry, abstraction and the primacy of the picture plane as a self-contained entity. 

Espinosa travelled to Europe in the 1950s, forging friendships with members of the ‘Movimento di Arte Concreta', ‘Forma' and ‘De Stijl' movements.  Influenced by these artists, Espinosa embraced the idea that creating variations upon a theme could offer a systematic and precise understanding of a particular form. In the 1960s and 1079s, Espinosa became interested in how he could weave an optical illusion into a seemingly ordered composition. Paintings and works on paper from this period feature circles and squares rendered in precise, serial configurations that appear to reverberate like particles or atoms across the surface.

In September 2019, a two-person exhibition of Espinosa and Luis Tomasello's work opened at MACBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. This coincided with a solo presentation by Stephen Friedman Gallery at Frieze Masters in London, focusing on several trips Espinosa made to Europe during the ‘50s and ‘60s and his connections with European artists of the time such as Josef Albers, Max Bill, Piero Dorazio and Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart.

Recent solo exhibitions include those at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2018); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta, Argentina, touring to Museo Emilio Caraffa, Córdoba, Argentina (2015); Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK (2014); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2013); Sicardi Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA (2013); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Neuquén, Argentina (2009); Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2003) and Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina (2001).

Espinosa's works are included in prominent international collections including Fondo Nacional de los Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, USA; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, New York, USA.


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