Happy life exhibition

Happy life exhibition

Instituto Tomie Ohtake presents: Yente – Del Prete. Happy Life

The Tomie Ohtake Institute ends by strengthening its ties with Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, by bringing Yente – Del Prete to São Paulo. A happy life, an exhibition organized and presented at the Argentine museum in 2022, the same year in which they hosted the Anna Maria Maiolino retrospective, originally organized by the São Paulo cultural institution.

Focused on the artist couple Eugenia Crenovich (Eugenia Crenovich, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1905-1990), known as Yente, and Juan Del Prete (Vasto, 1897 – Buenos Aires, 1987), this exhibition, curated by the researcher and curator -head of Malba María Amalia García, highlights the couple's creative synergy and loving bond as a way of approaching artistic creation.

For more than 50 years, Yente and Juan Del Prete not only shared their life as a couple, but also exchanged ideas about art on a daily basis. They held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in different group shows, but they never exhibited together. This exhibition brings them together for the first time with a selection of more than 150 works, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and artist books, covering the wide range of their careers, from the 1930s to the 1980s.

There are two constant elements in the couple's production: the transition between figuration and abstraction, covering different styles, and the remarkable experimentation with materials. In their passion for making, Yente and Del Prete appropriated the multiple currents of modern art through different references, always using materials as means of experimentation.

In García's words: “The transition between figuration and abstraction was a constant for the couple, encompassing various styles (cubism, surrealism, abstraction, expressionism, among others), as well as marked experimentation, both with art materials (various supports, tempera , paints, oil paints worked with a brush and spatula; extensive impasto and drips), as well as a wide range of DIY elements and discarded materials. Yente and Del Prete, in their irrepressible passion for making, appropriated the canon of modern art through various references, currents and representations”, highlights the curator.

The pieces on display come mainly from the Yente – Del Prete Collection, directed by Liliana Crenovich (the artist's niece) and from important Argentine private and public collections, such as the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art and the Amalita Collection, among others.

Although abstraction was a path of creative exploration that brought them together in a fundamental way, the exhibition is not limited to this perspective, covering both trajectories and covering the complete arc of their rich experimentations. Vida Venturosa is organized into two large nuclei: Union in Abstraction and Voracidade, which are divided into sub-nuclei, spanning more than fifty years of production.

Despite the differences between them – he, an Italian immigrant settled in the La Boca neighborhood and trained under the tutelage of the neighborhood's painters; she, from Buenos Aires, graduated in philosophy and the youngest of a wealthy Jewish family of Russian origin – the couple followed a joint path of artistic research through different languages and materials.

They met in the winter of 1935, when Del Prete had already spent three years in Europe, where he dedicated himself to experimenting with collage and abstraction, exhibiting in the company of the Parisian constructivist avant-garde. Back in Buenos Aires, he held two emblematic exhibitions, where he presented photomontages, abstract paintings, collages with strings and metal sheets, sculpted plaster sculptures and decoration projects, generating rejection and misunderstanding in the Buenos Aires art scene.

Parallel to his philosophy studies, Yente created family portraits, caricatures and illustrations for magazines. In the early 1930s, she expanded her plastic training while traveling to Chile. After meeting Del Prete, she began her research in abstraction and around 1937 produced biomorphic compositions: rounded, colorful nuclei that sometimes feature figurative elements. In the 40s she continued with more constructive proposals, a choice that led her to destroy her previous work, an action in line with Del Prete's systematic destructions, in her case justified by lack of space. However, Yente's annihilated production was not documented like his. The couple did not escape the gender roles in force at the time, and Del Prete's career was privileged.

Nothing in the couple's surroundings seems to have been left unexploited in their work. In addition to their critical stance towards fashion, Yente and Del Prete had the empathy and flexibility to allow themselves to be attracted by the different possibilities that visuality opened up. According to García, “In a constant back and forth between figuration and abstraction, during the 50s and 60s they embraced pictorial experimentation, collage, the assembly of objects and textiles. Although in different ways, they were voracious appropriators of styles, materials and techniques. The anecdotes of Argentine art refer to Del Prete's “gluttony” to refer to his unbridled production. Yente, although more moderate in his procedures, was no less voracious. Her work spread across different media: not only did she dedicate herself to drawing, painting, reliefs and sculpture, but she also expanded her work to textiles, artist books and archival work”, he adds.


Yente – Del Prete. Happy Life

Opening: December 14, 2023, at 7pm

On view until February 18, 2024

Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm – free entry

Images: https://encurtador.com.br/dlprH

Tomie Ohtake Institute

Av. Faria Lima 201 (Entrance via Rua Coropé, 88) – Pinheiros SP

Nearest metro – Faria Lima Station/Line 4 – yellow

Phone: 11 2245 1900