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 Martin Blaszko  (1920 - )

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Lived/Active: Argentina/Germany      Known for: mixed media, collage, sculpture and works on paper-abstraction

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Following is text from an exhibition catalogue for the MADI Exhibition, 1996, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid:

"Martin Blaszko, The Equable?"

Written by María Lluïsa Borràs
This artist whose work and career compete in balance, influence and interest, was a member of the MADI* movement almost from the start. “In 1945, I met Carmelo Arden Quin, the founder of the MADI group. The clarity, the coldness and the strict execution of his work made a deep impression on me. Being an effusive, fidgety, highly-strung and impatient sort of person, I needed that lesson in art to reach a sort of balance; after that I began working with him”.?

Originally from Berlin, Blaszko emigrated with his family to Poland in 1933, fleeing from the Nazis six years later to Buenos Aires, where he settled. There he has played an extremely important part in the revitalization of contemporary Argentinean sculpture. A deep thinker, tremendously lucid, he has a deep sense of art is to achieve balance in man, “In the face of a hostile, distant and alien world, and to establish an agreement between man and nature by stimulating the vital rhythms of human physiology”.

He is the author of a huge number of works: “I’ve done around 120 sculptures and my collages, easel paintings, oils and drawings must come to about 600, but the important things is quality, not quantity. And particularly important is to create an awareness of what art and certain great artists signify”.?

After first painting sober, harmonious pictures with cut-out-frames, he began making three-dimensional forms which rise up into space like monoliths but look rather like pyramids with broad bases. These increase in complexity and dynamism the more they seem to have been designed for execution on a monumental scale. Blaszko believes that sculpture must have other dimensions, “it must be out in the open air for the community to be able to take it in”.?

This “monolith” approach, the way in which his sculptures rise up into space, has never ceased to interest him, and as the dynamism of his work increased through complementary entwining or dissecting forms, he contrasted the vertical rhythm with a series of diagonal ones.

In 1952, the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) in London held a sculpture competition with the theme “The Unknown Political Prisoner” for which over 3,500 projects were entered. Blaszko was later to make several versions of his project – which received a mention and was to become one of his most famous sculptures.? It is a monument which reveals in Blaszko’s personality a man committed to his time and who where everything is better and more just.

Despite his respect for others, he expresses his independent views both clearly and radically: “During his lifetime Curatella Manes was never to see one of his works in a square, while mediocre sculptors in league with mediocre bureaucrats disfigured the city with their monstrosities.  How can anyone let advertising posters spoil the statue of General Alvear left to us by Bourdelle??

In all his various periods, Martin Blaszko has consistently sought form following the golden section and the principle of bipolarity. As if observing a reflection of the struggle between two antagonistic forces in every area of the world nature, it would seem that he has decided to express it in his sculpture. However, analysis of his basic approach allows us to conclude that the pure and simple geometric form, dynamic and with distinct outlines, always predominates.?

In 1961 and at the same time as the exhibition commemorating “Fifteen Years of MADI art” was held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Buenos Aires, another exhibition also in Buenos Aires, was dedicated to Martin Blaszko´s Fifteen Years of Sculpture”.

He was described even than as he is today: one of the most original and interesting sculptors in Argentina whose always equable and balanced opinion is well worth listening to.

Online Source:

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Martin Blaszko was born in Berlin. His family moved to Poland in 1933 then to France in 1938, where he met Marc Chagall.

Fleeing the Nazis, he moved to Argentina in 1939 where he began to paint and met Carmelo Arden Quin.

He helped found the MADI group in Buenos Aires and participated in the first MADI exposition.

He has won prizes in London, Brussels, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires. Blaszko resides in Argentina, but exhibits regularly in Paris. Much of his early work is in wood and bronze, and in recent years he has also used aluminum.


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