National Painting Award Sponsored by the Central Bank of Argentina

This painting contest was held for the first time in 2007 within the framework of the Institutional Enhancement Program with the purpose of promoting and spreading Argentine contemporary art, encouraging the involvement of plastic artists, and increasing the Central Bank’s pictorial assets through the purchase of paintings.

In every series of the contest, selected and awarded paintings are displayed in a travelling exhibition that visits different locations across our country as a way of contributing towards spreading national art. Thus, many paintings by Argentine artists from several regions have been exhibited thereby stimulating visitors’ engagement.

Thus, the BCRA depicts itself in terms of an intercultural bridge between artists and the community by promoting a colorful expression of contemporary art that contributes towards the construction of a national identity.

IX National Painting Award | 2016

In the IX National Painting Award, the Central Bank—true to its principles in support of Argentine painting—brings about some changes.

Firstly, selection criteria have been made flexible. This means that painters may submit works of art belonging to different styles beyond traditional painting, which remains appealing even today. Drawing or pigment on paper, mixed techniques based on collage and the appearance of little volumetric pieces on a painting enhance a wide diversity of topics and styles.

Another feature that makes this edition stand out is the strong support to artists below the age of 35. Now, they can be nominated to the five prizes within the adult category in addition to the five prizes for young artists, thus doubling their chances of being awarded.

Some good news is that the IX National Painting Award’s opening exhibition returned to the Museo Histórico y Numismático “Héctor Carlos Janson” at the BCRA, a beautiful building from 1862 and originally designed to house the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. This building, brimming with old architectural glory, still carries on dialogic interactions with contemporary art.

Lastly, it is worth devoting a special paragraph to the Great Prize for Distinguished Painters, which was this year awarded to master Julio Le Parc (Mendoza, 1928). The painting of this artist, undisputedly worthy of recognition, joins the heritage of the Central Bank of Argentina. This work is one of his famous wall mobiles that dates back to the beginning of 1960, reedited in the 1990s. This piece has an utmost avant-garde value as young Le Parc—settled down in Paris, where he still lives—started to experiment with color, light and movement. Indeed, he turned into one of the greatest op and kinetic art world mentors. Today, we are proud to exhibit his work together with the pieces of thirty-three chosen and ten awarded Argentine artists at the premises of the IX National Painting Award. The blue halo in Le Parc’s mobile is a lighthouse, an invitation to reunion with his public and an opportunity to pay tribute to his exceptional career as an artist.


Great Prize for Distinguished Painters| Julio Le Parc "Mobile Bleu Sur Blanc" 1960/1995.

1st Purchase Prize | Alfredo Prior

2nd Purchase Prize | Joaquín Boz

3rd Purchase Prize |Verónica Calfat

Purchase mention | Carlos Masoch

Purchase mention |Graciela Hasper

1st Purchase Mention for Young Artists |Agustina Quiles

2nd Purchase Mention for Young Artists | Christian Dalla

Purchase Mention for Young Artists | Fabio Risso Pino

Purchase Mention for Young Artists |Camila Carella

Purchase Mention for Young Artists | Julieta Barderi

Jury members

Mercedes Casanegra
Rafael Cippolini
Tulio De Zagastizábal
Silvia Gurfein
Oscar Smoljan


Eva Grinstein

Inauguration ceremony | Héctor Carlos Janson Numismatic and Historical Museum