The Heredia Cabinet: a selection of works at the museo de arte moderno de buenos aires

The Heredia Cabinet: a selection of works at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires brought together a selection of 50 works by Alberto Heredia (1924-2000) that form part of the donation of 500 pieces in a posthumous legacy to the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires.

Alberto Heredia knew that the paths offered to him by the artistic production of sculpture and objects, to which he obsessively dedicated most of his life, gave him the power to subvert and challenge the conventions of bourgeois society.

Acting as a disgruntled creator, or ‘urban object maker’, his output offered a combination of black comedy, irony and sarcasm as a way of examining objects and relieving them of the productivity to which they were subjected by the industry of mass consumption. “We must shift the spectator away from the reigning superficiality of the world,” he said, rejecting all forms of purely aesthetic approach.

Challenging the status quo was a constant theme of his work. Heredia questioned traditional institutions (family, church and army), seeing them as machines that produce a certain form of truth. He confronts the viewer with glimpses of the repugnant, intermediary zones of ‘unbearable’ ambiguity and a sheer sense of discomfort.

His works evoke memories of other uses, the violence of the silenced and gagged and the decline of different eras, forcing us to face our primordial fears.

After brief periods at the Escuela Nacional de Cerámica and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano, Alberto Heredia (Buenos Aires, 1924-2000), described himself as self-taught. His most important early exhibitions include Las Cajas de Camembert. Alberto Heredia (The Boxes of Camembert. Alberto Heredia), Galería Lirolay (1963), and Los Monstruos (The Monsters), Galería Arte Nuevo (1966). He took part in numerous collective exhibitions in Río de Janeiro, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Caracas, Madrid, Rome, Munich, and London. In 2002, he received a posthumous Premio Konex de Honor (2002).