Overview

After studying music and architecture, Argentine artist Oscar Agustin Alejandro Schulz Solari (1887-1963) moved to Europe in 1912 and remained there until 1924. During this period abroad he began painting; studied the occult and Asian religions; and developed a style that combined his philosophical and historial meditations with a flat, geometricizesd, modernist style. Upon his return to Buenos Aires, Solar joined the group Martín Fierro. He went on depict fantastic landscapes and architecture that reflected his deep interests in mysticism, theosophy and astrology. Solar was also an inventor of two new languages: neocriollo and panlengua.

Works
Paisaje Musical, 1950
Biography

Oscar Agustin Alejandro Schulz Solari was born in San Fernando, Argentina. His father, from Riga, Latvia was of German descent, his mother was from Zoagli, Italy. Xul Solar attended the Colegio Nacional in Buenos Aires from 1901-1905, then studied architecture at the Facultad de Ingenieria in 1906 and 1907. Leaving Argentina in 1912 on a ship bound for Hong Kong, he disembarked in London and traveled through to England, France and Italy. In 1914 he began painting. He met the Argentine modernist painter Emilio Pettoruti in Milan in 1916; at this time he began to sign his works “Xul Solar.”  In Europe he practiced meditation and studied the occult and Asian religions; by 1919 he was creating works that picture his metaphysical ruminations in a modernist style of flatly applied, bright colors, schematic figures, geometricized forms and symbols , and, frequently, written words. He made contact with the Futurists in Italy and lived intermittently in Munich from 1921 to 1923. He returned to Buenos Aires in 1924 and joined the group Martin Fierro; its members, which included Pettoruti and Jorge Luis Borges, opposed the academicism and cultural conservatism of their country. Xul Solar’s watercolors of the 1920s appropriated stylistic conventions of the European avant-garde but delineated a unique world with intimations of pre-Columbian cultures. In the 1930s and 1940s he depicted fantastic landscapes and architecture reflective of his interests in mysticism, theosophy and astrology. The artist invented new languages he called neocreol or neocriollo, and panlengua and attempted to give them visual form in his art of the late 1950s.

More recent exhibitions of Xul Solar’s work include Xul Solar: Panactivista, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (2017); Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship, Americas Society, New York City, and the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, (2013); Xul Solar: Visiones y Revelaciones, Colección Costantini, Buenos Aires, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2005-2006); and Xul Solar, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Barcelona (2002).

Publications