The Buenos Aires gallery illuminating Argentina past and present

The photography and art on show at Espacio Makarius offers visitors a window on the history and culture of the country

Step through the glass doors of the new Espacio Makarius art gallery in Buenos Aires and expect to be taken back in time. The sparkling white walls of this minimalist space – on the ground floor of a grand house in the smart Recoleta district – are currently lined with striking monochrome prints of the city from a bygone age – street life from the 1950s onwards, capturing both the splendour and crudeness of the capital, be it portraits of the artistic elite (including conceptual artist Alberto Greco and architect Clorindo Testa) to the gruesome reality of an abattoir in the 1940s.

Sameer Makarius’s c1960 picture of the art deco Kavanagh building, which, for many years, was the highest building in Buenos Aires.
Sameer Makarius’s c1960 picture of the art deco Kavanagh building, which, for many years, was the highest building in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Sameer Makarius

The inaugural exhibition largely focuses on work by the late Egyptian-born photographer Sameer Makarius, who arrived in Buenos Aires in 1953 and became one of the city’s most prolific photographers. Makarius left behind a vast historical catalogue of more than 140,000 negatives and thousands of prints. His son, Karim Makarius, opened the gallery to display some of the legacy bequeathed to him by his father in 2009, as well as the work of other Argentine photographers and artists – currently images by contemporary photographer Facundo de Zuviria are also on show. It’s a must for any art lover visiting the city.
Entrance free,

Obelisco de Buenos Aires.
The Obelisco de Buenos Aires pictured in the mid-1950s. The monument was erected in 1936. Photograph: Sameer Makarius
Vanessa Bell

The GuardianTramp

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