The inimitable mall at Bellavista de la Florida boasts everything from designer clothes and organic cosmetics to a hopping outdoor patio with restaurants and a movie theater. But perhaps the most surprising secret at Bellavista de la Florida is the quiet gallery space tucked near the movie theaters, with free exhibitions organized by Chile’s leading fine arts museum, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA).
This month, the exhibition hall brings together a generous selection of works – drawings, paintings, etchings and collages – produced during recent decades by a diverse mix of Santiago’s resident visual artists.
Part of the so-called “Transition Generation” (generación de la transición), these artists use their art to explore the fascinating political processes unfolding in Chile since the end of the military government in 1990.
Curator Cristián Silva calls the exhibit “a multi-referential collection,” featuring visual works that are part of larger series and displaying each artist’s “very personal graphic language, as energetic as it is varied.”
The exhibition is part of the MNBA’s “museum without walls” project, which aims to infuse Chile’s thriving art scene into the daily life of the city. The exhibit is just one of many Chilean spaces featuring free, public art. Other popular spots include the sculptures in the Parque de las Esculturas in Providencia, Santiago, and the murals in the Museo al Aire Libre on Cerro Concepción in Valparaíso.
The title of the exhibition – Indios Verdes – is a reference to a popular meeting space in Mexico City, at the metro station by the same name, where green-tinted bronze statues of Itzcóatl and Ahuizotl stand guard over the people.
Participating artists: Rodrigo Canala, Juan Céspedes, José Pablo Díaz, César Gabler, Ignacio Gumucio, Claudio Herrera, Matías Iglesis, Felipe Mujica, Mario Navarro, Álvaro Oyarzún, Rodrigo Salinas, Cristián Silva, José Luis Villablanca, Christian Yovane.
Exhibition runs until: April 30, 2012.
Hours: Monday to Friday, from 10:30am to 9pm.
Location: Avda. Vicuña Mackenna Oriente 7110, Metro Bellavista de La Florida (Line 5).
Admission is free.
To visit the permanent collection and current exhibits at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, visit the museum’s main building in Parque Forestal, near Metro Bellas Artes (Line 5).