Anita Payró Argentina, 1897-1980

Anita Payró grew up in a family with a strong cultural background. After she finished her art studies in the recognised École Bischoffsheim in Brussels, and resided in England for a time, Payró moved back to Buenos Aires in 1926. The artist developed an important career as an educator and worked in several specialized schools. Since 1951, her paintings started to be exhibited in Buenos Aires, Ottawa and the Venice Biennale. Abstraction was always her language, but Payró did not join the groups that represented the abstract art movement in Argentina, although she kept ties with its members. Her work, of careful execution, has subtle chromatic combinations and dynamic composition schemes. Her common use of transparencies creates a particular sense of space.


She passed away in 1980, in Buenos Aires. The following year, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires paid tribute with a retrospective exhibition of her works from public and private collections. Payró began her work directly in the field of abstraction, a trademark of her education. The artist’s compositions are dynamic and complex patterns of diagonal or curve lines. Spirals, triangles, and circles are superimposed through the use of transparencies. The figures intersect and generate a sensation of depth organized by the sequence of planes.


Her curious passage through applied and fine arts softens the barriers between these two areas that modernist art history has tried to separate and segregate. For the artist, each piece was linked to an emotion, a place or a person. Payró didn’t hesitate to stay away from the orthodox abstract painting by bonding her work to her identity, which made her a peculiar voice within the local abstract art scene. Payró was a crucial artist within the development of the abstract movement that strongly manifested during the mid-1940s in Argentina. As a female artist, the attention towards her male peers shadowed her voice. Nonetheless, her achievements during her career has allowed her to emerge as a silent heretic regarding the pureness of painting and a pioneer in the reconsideration of the hegemonies in art.