At Recoleta, art is not only found locked inside the four walls of a museum. It is free in the green hues of the squares to co-exist with the citizens and visitors to Buenos Aires.
In the ever colorful and ever pleasant neighborhood of Recoleta
, we found a new proposal that embellishes public spaces. Related to art and design (within an area of few blocks, there lie, for instance, the Buenos Aires Design building, the market on Francia Square, the Fine Arts National Museum
, today Recoleta displays various sculptures in the open air. Look Again
This is a place where countless denizens and visitors to the City of Buenos Aires
circulate. It is framed by two of the busiest avenues in town: Del Libertador and Figueroa Alcorta.
Like many others, we had got past those corners a thousand times: whether to visit the Fine Arts National Museum, to tour around the market at Francia Square on weekends, to attend some show at the municipal exhibitions venue, to go for ride. But something new made us pay special attention to a space that we had always ignored. Another square in this green area. That is what the project is about: to grant new meaning to a place that belongs to us all.
The Sculpture Promenade
It is located at Rubén Darío Square, on the corner of Del Libertador Avenue and Austria Street. This is a green space lying by the Fine Arts National Museum. As if a closed venue (however big and appropriate it might be) failed to contain art, the sculptures escaped towards a living place, where the grass grows and people walk by.
As from June 2009, the government of the City of Buenos Aires resolved to devote this square to the first steady sculpture promenade in a public space in the capital of the country. The promenade was inaugurated with a show honoring Monumental Pieces made with steel by Bastón Díaz.
Surrounded by runners wearing tracksuits and headphones, dogs taking their daily walk, countless cars, foreign tourists with their digital cameras and all kinds of pedestrians, we toured this breathing and embellished corner that reminds us of everything that may happen in a space created for all.
A New Flower
Across Figueroa Alcorta Avenue, we could see another great monument that completes this promenade: Floralis Generica.
This 23-meter-high sculpture was donated to the city by Argentinian architect Eduardo Catalano in 2002. Unlike the works displayed at the Sculpture Promenade –which are scattered all around the square to interact with life in the city-, Floralis Generica, and all its majesty, is placed in the center of a four-hectare square specially designed to display this masterpiece.
Metal’s Day and Night
In the center of Naciones Unidas Square, over a circular water fountain, surrounded by green and the image of the entire city reflected on its silver petals, Floralis Generica disembarked in Buenos Aires with the intention of becoming another photograph identifying the city in a postcard. Some porteños are not sure about this; others are. Maybe because this is something new, maybe because it is something different.
The six petals of this huge structure are articulated by a special mechanism to be opened at dawn and to close again at sunset. When the bud is closed, a set of lights is turned on to highlight the effects of the sculpture. The tour around Floralis lets visitors appreciate it from every angle.
Beyond its meaning, the presence of this sculpture catches the eye of all passer-byes and creates an isolated site for contemplation in the center of the city. It is certainly worth a visit.