Marta Minujín

  • Born 1943 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marta Minujín is an acclaimed pioneer of happenings, performance art, soft sculpture, and media arts. She initially studied at the Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte (now Universidad Nacional de las Artes, or National University of the Arts) until 1960. She then received a scholarship to travel to Paris, where her work was featured in the exhibition Pablo Manes and Thirty Argentines from the New Generation at the Galérie Creuze in 1960. During her three years in Paris, she explored the local avant-garde art scene, created her first participatory works, and experimented with transforming hand-painted mattresses into interactive soft sculptures. Her lifelong aesthetic concerns—audience involvement and protesting the concept of the artwork as a permanent material object—reached their first significant manifestation in 1963 with La Destrucción (The Destruction). For this happening, Minujín invited other artists to help destroy and burn some of her own works. In 1966 she won a Guggenheim Fellowship—escaping Argentina just as a repressive regime assumed power—and moved to New York. There she created her psychedelic “Minuphone,” a telephone booth wherein visitors who dialed a number would suddenly hear sounds and see colors on the glass panels and watch themselves on a TV screen in the floor. She returned to Buenos Aires in 1976.

Artworks by Marta Minujín in the exhibition