Beto De Volder
Beto De Volder (b. 1962) is an Argentine painter and sculptor whose work often examines the boundary between chaos and restraint. While the curving lines that comprise his compositions are finite – fixed in size, color, and weight – their dynamic loops and intersections imply motion that continues energetically and unhindered through space. De Volder studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano in Buenos Aires from 1986 to 1989. In 1993, he won first prize in painting at the III Biennial of Young Artists (Buenos Aires); and the following year, he received a scholarship from the Antorchas Foundation. De Volder’s artwork can be found within internationally-recognized cultural institutions and private collections.
An Argentine painter and sculptor, Beto De Volder studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano in his native Buenos Aires from 1986 to 1989. Four years later, in 1993, de Volder was awarded the first prize in painting at the Biennial of Young Artists in Buenos Aires. The following year, the artist received a scholarship from the Fundación Antorchas which enabled him to work for two years—from 1994 to 1996—in the Taller de Barracas (The Barracas Workshop) under the mentorship of Luis Fernando Benedit, Pablo Suárez, and Ricardo Longhini.
De Volder’s artistic production developed during the 1990s upon joining a group of artists working with the Rojas Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. In 1991, the artist held his first solo exhibition of paintings at the Rojas Gallery. At this point in his practice, de Volder’s formal lan- guage—as well as those of his peers at the Rojas Gallery—all paid homage to the lineage that came before them: one spear-headed by the Argentine Concrete art movement of the 1940s, most notably, by the Grupo Madí (the Madí Group). This aesthetic was conveyed through works that engaged with a strong use of color and geometry. De Volder’s practice until the mid-90s was both figurative and geometric, as well as highly reminiscent of the cartoon-style street art. At this time, De Volder’s art was replete with sexual motifs that oscillated between the use of wit and irony, humor and satire.
In 1996, the artist took a four-year hiatus from the local cultural art scene to pursue a career in business. He re-emerged in 2000 with a retrospective presenting his work across a variety of media, including photographs, drawings, and objects.
De Volder’s most recent oeuvre took a radical turn from his more figural work of the 1990s. It is mainly characterized by his employment of curved linear forms that bisect, unfurl, and overlap each other through a playful use of geometry as a formal language. Conflated with an ascetic yet also bold use of color (many times committing to only one single hue), De Volder’s forms unfold into three-dimensional space through either single or intertwining loops that appear to rest in the between space of randomization and restraint. De Volder creates works whose lines are static in color, size, and weight; yet their dynamic loops and overlappings imply a sense of energetic, swirling motion.
De Volder has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions in the United States, France, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru. His artwork can be found in numerous internationally-recognized cultural institutions and private collections, as well as in the public collections of the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA); Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires (MACBA); the Museum Castagnino of Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.