Marta Minujín: international recognition and the return of the Parthenon of Books

Although he confesses that he does not want to exceed 90 years of age, it seems impossible to imagine a future for Argentine art without the explosive intervention of Marta Minujin. This week he was in the news for the performance celebration of his 80th birthday.

He Malba Museum it closed its doors to entertain her and covered the ceiling with black balloons for the party, according to the artist’s instructions. Two hundred rigorously selected guests, among the most distinguished from the world of art (artists, gallery owners, curators, specialized press) arrived dressed according to the “dress code” suggested: black clothes and dark glasses.

A while after the time indicated in the invitation, 8 at night, Minujín arrived at the door of the museum in a bus on line 67escorted by a group of young people made up with Picasso motifs, (a tribute by the artist to Pablo Picasso for the 50th anniversary of his death).

She was wearing a flowing pink tulle dress strewn with flowers in the same shade, a gift from Amalia Amoedodesigned by George King. And, in her hand, a bouquet of black flowers that she sent Teresa Bulgheroni, president of the Malba Foundation. Thus the outfit for “marrying eternity” was completed. Because that was the idea behind the party-performance: to commit to a marriage with art that would last forever.

George King

As in any traditional wedding, it was time to dance the waltz. “Blue Danube” began to play a few minutes after Minujín’s entrance and she herself was the first to occupy the center of the room to dance. To the rhythm of the Strauss melody, almost all the guests, indispensable participants in the happening, soon filled the floor.

And it was time to cut the cake (black, of course) and throw the bouquet. The honoree thanked the gifts and the celebration, and she got back on the 67 with her escort.


Marta Minujín advances without pause towards the future, incessantly planning her agenda to come. At the end of the party, she met a group of journalists and fans for a chat and the conversation began with a detailed description of what awaits her in 2023 and 2024. Initially, an exhibition at the Jewish Museum of New York, one of the cities he loves the most and where he lived in the early years of his career. This exhibition will last 6 months and will cover his complete history in art, from the age of 12.

Marta Minujin

In addition, it will be the protagonist of an exhibition at the Pinacota of Saint Paul, in Brazil. It is also a retrospective, but it includes his work from the year 2000. In 2024, one of his most important works, an unavoidable milestone of the 20th century; “La Menesunda”will tour various institutions in Europe.

But the project that excites her the most is repeating the “Parthenon of books”, the work that he inaugurated in 1983, with the texts prohibited by the dictatorship, and that this year will return to celebrate 40 years of democracy. “I am going to make the Parthenon of the same size, in the vicinity of the CCK. It will open on May 25 and will remain open for 3 months. Then people are going to take the books”.

Black cake by Marta Minujin

“Marta is a young artist; although we are celebrating her 80th anniversary -says María Amalia García, Malba’s Chief Curator-. Her vitality is evident, her ability to surprise, to transform herself and fundamentally, to transform us; spectators, in renewed versions of ourselves”.

Precisely in Malba, the institution he chose to celebrate his 80th birthday and “marry eternity”, had already celebrated his 70s (a “marriage to art”). This museum was also the one that held the first retrospective of his work in Argentina in 2010.

With a prominent position in the history of art, as a pioneering artist of the happening and performance, Minujin has the particularity of being loved by the whole world, even by those people who have never visited a museum. “I can’t go out for a coffee or walk down the street, I have to wear a black wig. But if they hear me speak, they recognize me right away, ”she says.

Facundo Gómez Minujín, Marta Minujín and Marc Stanley, Ambassador of the United States, with his wife.

He attributes so much affection to the fact of having made ephemeral works, with materials that people could take with them. “The ‘Obelisco de pan dulce’, the ‘Parthenon of books’, the ‘Sea lion of alfajores’. That work in Mar del Plata is the only one that remained”.

What impacted you the most in recent times? The crowd that surrounded the obelisk when Argentina won the World Championship. “It was a happening. An international phenomenon. Now we have to make an art world cup. And invite all the artists”.

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