Xul Solar Museum
Most of us have heard of and enjoyed the surrealist work of famous artists such as Salvador Dalí. If you want to check out a lesser known, but equally fascinating artist, stop by the Museo Xul Solar in Palermo. This small museum is dedicated to the work of Xul Solar, an Argentine surrealist artist from the early 1900s, whose mysterious and strange art will amaze you. His art is easy to appreciate. Whether you are an art history expert or a college student looking for something interesting to do on a rainy afternoon, the Museo Xul Solar is definitely worth checking out.
What to see in the Xul Solar Museo
Xul Solar’s art in Buenos Aires consists of sculptures, paintings and architectural work. In his sculptures, he is known for his use of unorthodox materials. One of his most famous pieces, which you will see in the museum, is a brightly-painted piano he modified by adding a third row of keys, and in his own way re-inventing the language of music. He was fascinated with astrology and this is also evident throughout much of the art; in fact his adopted name (his real name is Oscar Agustín Alejandro Schulz Solari) is “lux” in reverse and combined with the word “solar”, reads as “intensity of the sun.” In much of his work images of the moon, stars, sun and signs of the zodiac are evident.
Xul Solar was also an “inventor,” of sorts, but not in the typical way. His game called Panchess or “Panajedrez,” for example, was a complicated version of a chess-like game. He is known for inventing languages, both a universal language designed to unite the world and a language designed to unite South America. He was known for speaking to people in these imaginary languages. Xul Solar is also well known for his close friendship with the famous Argentine writer, Jorge Borges, who made Xul Solar a character in one of his novels.
The museum itself was originally designed by the artist, and at one time was his home. Not particularly visible from the street, it was completed in surrealist fashion, with a stairway that leads to nowhere and hidden rooms. Just being in the building adds yet another dimension to understanding the artist’s vision. If you happen to be at the MALBA, you will see some of his work but the best collection is at the quirky Museo Xul Solar.