On this day..., Painters

On this day… was born Raquel Forner

Raquel Forner was an Argentinian painter, sculptor, engraver and drawing teacher who created a non-figurative painting characterised by the pain, later her work acquired symbolist aspects influenced by the Expressionism. She exhibited in the some of the main galleries and museums of Europe and America.

Raquel Forner

When she was 12, she travelled to Spain in company of her parents, and it was during this trip that her interest in art arouse. Back to Argentina with her family, Forner began her artistic training at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires. In 1924 she wins her 3rd award of Salón Nacional with the painting Mis vecinas and five years later she went in a study trip throughout France, Spain, Italy, and Morocco.

Icaro by Raquel Forner, 1944

During her time in Paris she studied with Othon Friesz and met other Argentinian artists such as Antonio Berni, Juan del Prete, Alfredo Bigatti and the writer Leopoldo Marechal. After exhibiting her work at the Salon des Tuileries she went back to Buenos Aires where, in 1932, she founded with Alredo Bigatti, who would become her husband, the Cursos Libres de Arte Plástico.

Forner was very impressed by the Spanish Civil War and began to create a series of paintings based on it: La victoria (1939), El drama (1939-1946) and Éxodo (1940), in some of them the style got close to surrealism. From then on, her work will be a testimony of a conscience shaken by the horrors of the world, its misfortunes, and its wars.

In 1950s she created the series: El lago (1953), Apocalipsis (1954), Piscis (1956), Las lunas (1958-62) and Espacios (1957), those series are considered as a brief moment of optimism inside of her dramatic sense of existence. Until the series Espacios, her concerns are on the future of humanity on Earth, although later these concerns will be about the humans facing the cosmos, developing in allegories all her concerns, anxieties, desperation, and hopes.

Raquel Forner was born on this day in 1902.

Relación cósmica by Raquel Forner, 1980.


  • In 1961 she was the guest of honour at the São Paulo Biennial.
  • Her studio is nowadays a museum-studio and the headquarters of Fundación Forner-Bigatti.


All images are from Fundación Forner-Bigatti‘s website.