“And Alice Penalba learnt to build stars…”
Pablo Neruda

Biography

She attended the Esculea Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1930 and then the Esculea Superior de Bellas Artes in 1934 in Buenos Aires, where she graduated professor in Drawing and Painting. She took part in many Salons and group exhibitions, obtaining several national awards. In 1948, thanks to a scholarship from the French government, she attended the Engraving Department of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris and in 1949 received the Engraving Medal (for foreign students). She started to sculpt at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiére with Ossip Zadkine. 

Among the important shows she took part in, of note are: Salon de Mai, Paris 1952; Salon de la Jeune Sculpture, Paris 1952-1957; Biennale, Middlelheimpark, Antwerp 1953, 1955, 1961, 1969; Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris 1955, 1956; "École de Paris" 1956, Japan; Musée Rodin, Paris 1956; Kunstgewebermuseum, Zurich 1957; Guggenheim Museum, New York 1958, 1962; "Pittsburgh International Exhibition" 1958, 1964, 1967, Carnegie Institute; "Documenta" 1959, 1964, Kassel; Kunstkring, Rotterdam 1960; Musée d'Art et Industrie, Saint-Etienne 1960; Cleveland Museum of Art 1960; "São Paulo Biennial", Brazil (International Sculpture Prize, 1961); "Drawings by Sculptors" 1961, Smithsonian Institution, travelling exhibition in the United States; Institute of Design, Illinois; Institute of Technology, Chicago 1961; Museum des 20 Jahrhunderts, Vienna 1962, 1964; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield 1964; Biennial, Tokyo 1965; Fondation Maeght, St. Paul de Vence 1967, 1968; Museé d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 1968; Hakone Open Air Museum, Ninotaira 1969; Henraux, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara 1972; "French contemporary sculpture" 1973, travelling exhibition in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia; Modern Art Museum, Seoul 1976; Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon 1979; Biennale Internationale de Sculpture, Grand Palais, Paris 1981.

In 1957 she organized her first solo exhibition at the Galerie du Dragon in Paris, followed by many others such as: Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris 1960; Otto Gerson Gallery, New York 1960; Modern Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro 1962; travelling exhibition, museums of Otterlo, Eindhoven and Leverkusen 1964; Galleria Nuovo Carpine, Rome 1969; Galerie Alice Pauli, Lausanne and Galerie d'Art Moderne, Basel 1971; Galería Arte Contacto, Caracas 1976; Galleria Stendhal, Milan 1976; Museé d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 1977; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas 1978; Kunstmuseum, Saint Gall 1980; Centre Culturel, Villeparisis 1981. She received the Gulbekian Prize for sculpture in 1974. Her works are held in the museums of many cities, including Paris, Vienna, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Antwerp, Japan, Stuttgart, Washington, Bern and public spaces in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina, Peru and the United States. 

She arrived in Versilia during the sixties and took part in the symposiums organized by Henraux, where she started to create her works. She also worked at the Giulio Cardini, Stefania Cima, Stile Dorico, Roberta Giovannini, Giovanni Gozzani, Sauro Lorenzoni, Officina and Studio Sem laboratories, and at the Tommasi, Da Prato, Tesconi and Versiliese foundries. She was invited to the Biennale Internazionale di Scultura in Carrara 1965, 1967, 1973, 2000 and to several other exhibitions held at the L. Russo Cultural Centre of Pietrasanta: "Artisti e artigiani in un centro storico" 1976; "Il passato e la presenza" 1982,1983; "Scultrici in Versilia" 1983; "Il disegno degli scultori" 1988; and a posthumous solo exhibition at La Versiliana, Marina di Pietrasanta in 1983.

Timeline