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date: 19 August 2019

Forner, Raquelfree

(b Buenos Aires, Apr 22, 1902; d Buenos Aires, Jun 10, 1988).
  • Nelly Perazzo

Argentine painter. She completed her studies at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1923 and from 1929 to 1931 received tuition in Paris from Othon Friesz. In her choice of subject matter she revealed a consistent concern with humanity and with the events of her time. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) she began to paint pictures in a powerful and dramatic style, inspired by the tragedies that have laid humanity waste, and often working in series, as in The Drama (1940–1946; e.g. Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.) and the closely related See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil (1939; Buenos Aires, Mus. Mun. A. Plást. Sívori), The Rocks (1947), The Farce (1948), The Banners (1952), and Apocalypse (1954); in the last of these, charred tree trunks, architecture in ruins, and fantastic beings bear witness to a civilization in agony.

In 1958 Forner began work on Space Series and related pictures such as Battle of Astral Beings II (1961; Washington, DC, Kennedy Cent. Perf. A.) and the Return of the Astronaut (1969; Washington, DC, N. Air & Space Mus.), in which she related, with great imagination, the adventures and misadventures of a humanity hurled into the cosmic abyss. Her colors became vibrant and the surfaces of her paintings densely populated with interlaced figures undergoing metamorphosis at fantastic speed. The mythology created by Forner on the theme of humanity in space, both in these paintings and in several portfolios of lithographs, points toward the future and to hope for the moral improvement of humanity.


  • Raquel Forner. Essay by P. Restany. Paris, UNESCO, 1977. Exhibition catalog.
  • Whitelow, G. Raquel Forner. Buenos Aires, 1980.
  • Whitelow, G. and Castro, M. R. Raquel Forner: Retrospectiva. Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A., 1983. Exhibition catalog.
  • Medrano, Carmen. “Raquel Forner.” Todo es Historia 25, no. 298 (Apr 1992): 40–42.
  • Whitelow, Guillermo. “Raquel Forner: Witness of Two Wars.” In Art from Argentina: Argentina 1920–1994, edited by David Elliott. Oxford, MOMA, 1994. Exhibition catalog.
  • Fèvrel, F. Raquel Forner. Buenos Aires, 2000.
  • Lorenzo, Alcala M. “Raquel Forner: Del Apocalipsis a La Utopia.” Cuad. Hispamer. (2002): 103–112.
  • Martínez, Noemí. Raquel Forner. Madrid: Eneida, 2010.