Alejandro Xul Solar Argentina
12-14-1887 San Fernando, ARG – 4-9-1963 Tigre, ARGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Alejandro Xul Solar was born in San Fernando, Buenos Aires Province. He was educated in Buenos Aires, first as a musician, then as an architect (although he never completed his architectural studies). After working as a schoolteacher and holding a series of minor jobs in the municipal bureaucracy. In 1912, he set out supposedly to work his passage to Hong Kong, but he disembarked in London and made his way to Turin. He returned to London to meet up with his mother and aunt, with whom he traveled to France and Italy. Over the following few years, despite the onset of World War I, he would move among these cities, towards the end of the war he served at the Argentine consulate in Milan.
During the years of the war, he struck up what was to be a lifelong friendship with Argentine artist Emilio Pettoruti, then a young man living in Italy and associated with the futurists. Also around that time, he began to pay more attention to painting. He also adopted the pen-name of Xul Solar. His first major exhibition of his art was in 1920 in Milan, together with sculptor Arturo Martini.
During the years that followed Alejandro Xul Solar continued his travels, extending his orbit to Munich and Hamburg. In 1924, his work was exhibited in Paris in a show of Latin American artists, later that year he returned to Buenos Aires, where he promptly became associated with the avant garde "Florida group" (a.k.a. "Martín Fierro group"), a circle that also included Jorge Luis Borges, with whom he was to keep an association and close friendship.
Alejandro Xul Solar had a strong interest in astrology; at least as early as 1939 he began to draw astrological charts. He also had a strong interest in Buddhism and believed strongly in reincarnation. He also developed his own set of Tarot cards.
He invented two fully elaborated imaginary languages, symbols from which figure in his paintings, and was also an exponent of duodecimal mathematics. One of his invented languages was called "Neo Criollo", a poetic fusion of Portuguese and Spanish, which he reportedly would frequently use as a spoken language in talking to people. He also invented a "Pan Lingua", which aspired to be a world language linking mathematics, music, astrology and the visual arts.
From 1943 and 1944, Alejandro Xul Solar’s painting was influenced by his thoughts of the Second World War. The sudden, powerful emergence of inhumanity and the potential effects on the world at large wore very heavy on the artist.
Art Movement: Expressionism, Surrealism
Traveled: Germany, Uruguay, England, Italy, France