Emilio Pettoruti

Argentine painter, born at La Plata. From 1913 to 1923 he studied and worked in Europe, taking part in the Futurist movement in Italy, and experimenting with the Cubism of Juan Gris, whom he met in Paris. After his return to Argentina in 1924 he had a great influence on the younger generation of painters there through his advocacy of European modernism. An exhibition of his paintings at the Galeria Witcomb in Buenos Aires in 1924 provoked a scandal, even though the pictures were mild and decorative by European standards, and in 1930 he caused further controversy, when as director of the Museum of Fine Arts in La Plata he exhibited current European art (he had two terms as director of the museum, both short-lived because of official disapproval of his activities). By the late 1940s his own work had become abstract. In 1952 he returned to Europe and settled in Paris, where he died. He published a book of memoirs, Un Peintre devant son miroir, in 1962.
Chilvers, Ian, and John Glaves-Smith. A dictionary of modern and contemporary art. Oxford University Press, USA, 2009.

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