About me

María Inés Aguirre (MIA)

María Inés Aguirre (MIA) was born in Entre Rios, Argentina. When she was six, her mother organised her first public show, hanging paintings between trees in the main square of her home town in the far north of the country.  MIA went on to win several national painting competitions and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Tucumán. After winning a post-graduate scholarship, she attended the Academia di Belle Arte in Venice, where her teacher was Fabrizio Plessi. She then set up studio in an old monastery near Padova and took part in group and solo shows, where her works attracted the interest of Pierre Restany, the French critic who championed Yves Klein.

 After commissions for murals in Taiwan and Austria, MIA was invited to hold her first solo show in London (Durini Gallery, 1991). She moved to London in 1992 and worked from Delfina’s studios in the East of London. MIA now works from her studio in West London.  She has held many solo and group shows and her works are held in collections in the USA, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

María Inés Aguirre (MIA) was born in Entre Rios, Argentina. When she was six, her mother organised her first public show, hanging paintings between trees in the main square of her home town in the far north of the country.  MIA went on to win several national painting competitions and graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Tucumán. After winning a post-graduate scholarship, she attended the Academia di Belle Arte in Venice, where her teacher was Fabrizio Plessi. She then set up studio in an old monastery near Padova and took part in group and solo shows, where her works attracted the interest of Pierre Restany, the French critic who championed Yves Klein.

 After commissions for murals in Taiwan and Austria, MIA was invited to hold her first solo show in London (Durini Gallery, 1991). She moved to London in 1992 and worked from Delfina’s studios in the East of London. MIA now works from her studio in West London.  She has held many solo and group shows and her works are held in collections in the USA, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

In his foreword to the catalogue of MIA’s 2003 show at the Centro Borges, Buenos Aires, Pierre Restany wrote that MIA uses colour to reflect her emotions and, that in contrast to over-rational contemporary art, the spontaneity of MIA’s work enables it to reach the essence of what it means to be human. Whatever medium she uses – oils, pastel, ink, water colour, gouache, printmaking or ceramics, MIA is alert to the benign accidents that arise from the materials and techniques she uses.

For many years, MIA has explored the connections between colour and music.  In 2010, she was artist in residence at Steinway & Sons, London where she transformed a concert grand piano into ‘Dancing Soul’, an abstract 3D painting inspired by the sets, costumes and music of Diaghilev and Les Ballets Russes. 

 In 2018, MIA painted a brand new Steinway Model D concert grand.  Called ‘Chromasoul’, it expresses the energy and adventures of life itself.   It’s the latest stage in her long-standing project, ‘The Music of Colour’ and expresses her conviction that imagination runs deeper than knowledge.

In his foreword to the catalogue of MIA’s 2003 show at the Centro Borges, Buenos Aires, Pierre Restany wrote that MIA uses colour to reflect her emotions and, that in contrast to over-rational contemporary art, the spontaneity of MIA’s work enables it to reach the essence of what it means to be human. Whatever medium she uses – oils, pastel, ink, water colour, gouache, printmaking or ceramics, MIA is alert to the benign accidents that arise from the materials and techniques she uses.

For many years, MIA has explored the connections between colour and music.  In 2010, she was artist in residence at Steinway & Sons, London where she transformed a concert grand piano into ‘Dancing Soul’, an abstract 3D painting inspired by the sets, costumes and music of Diaghilev and Les Ballets Russes. 

 In 2018, MIA painted a brand new Steinway Model D concert grand.  Called ‘Chromasoul’, it expresses the energy and adventures of life itself.   It’s the latest stage in her long-standing project, ‘The Music of Colour’ and expresses her conviction that imagination runs deeper than knowledge.

Solo Shows:

1987: Cultural Centre, University of Tucumán; Casa de la Cultura de Salta (Argentina)1988: Teatro Municipal de Iquique, (Chile); Museo de Arte Visual, Concordia (Argentina).1989: Lido de Venezia (Italy); 1990: Sala de Cultura, Argentine Consulate, Milan;  1991: Otto Design Studio: 20m mural, Taipei (Taiwan); Durini Gallery, London;  1992: Thompson’s Gallery, London; Mural Sølden; Summer Academy, Salzburg (Austria);1992-93: Delfina’s Studio, London; 1995: Dragon Studios, London; 1997: Casino Pedrocchi, Padova; 2001: Corporate Connoisseurs, London; 2003: Galleria La Rinascente, Padova; Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires; 2004: Studio Show, Gas Works, London; 2005: Retrospective Show, Salon des Arts, London; 2006-07: Open Studio Show: Ceramics, works on paper, Mobile Mural; “Art Feast”, Salon des Arts; 2009: London Design Week/Natuzzi; 2010: Maya Gallery, London; 2011: Art Moor House, London; Convento de Santo Domingo, Ronda (Spain); 2012: Centro Cultural, El Viso del Alcor;Antares, Sevilla; Sala Gran Capitan, Granada (Spain); 2013: Institut Français, London; 2015: Asia Contemporary Art Fair and Maritime Museum (Hong Kong); Art Moor House; St Stephen Wallbrook, (London) Chapelle de Saint Buc, Dinard (France); 2019: Art Moor House, London; ‘Typing Music’, St Botolph, London.

Collective Shows:

1987: Casa de la Cultura Jujuy; Museo de Arte Visuale, Concordia (Argentina); 1988: Third National Salon, Painting and Engraving, Buenos Aires; San Vidal Gallery, Venice; 1989: La Cupola Gallery; Piazza Cavour Gallery, Padova (Italy); 1990: ‘Colore della Cittá’ di Padova (First Prize); Talkhaus, Salzburg (Austria); Logos International Contemporary Art Fair, Milan; 1991: Art ’91: International Contemporary Art Fair, Olympia, London; Logos International Contemporary Art Fair, Padova; 1994: Mostra Nazionale di Pittura Contemporanea, Santhià (Italy); Nomad’s Feast, London; CSK Gallery, Eton (UK); 1996: Canning House, London; 2001-2003: Chase, Royal College of Art, London;  2002: Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, (Mexico); 2004, 2005: Salon des Arts, London; 2010: “Elephant Parade”, London; 2011: Italian Embassy, Fiumatto Fine Arts, London; ‘Jungle City’, Edinburgh;‘Elephant Parade’, Copenhagen & Milan; 2012: Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, Covent Garden, London; 2017: Borchard Self Portrait Prize, Kings Place, London.

 

Work history

Solo Shows:

1987: Cultural Centre, University of Tucumán; Casa de la Cultura de Salta (Argentina)1988: Teatro Municipal de Iquique, (Chile); Museo de Arte Visual, Concordia (Argentina).1989: Lido de Venezia (Italy); 1990: Sala de Cultura, Argentine Consulate, Milan;  1991: Otto Design Studio: 20m mural, Taipei (Taiwan); Durini Gallery, London;  1992: Thompson’s Gallery, London; Mural Sølden; Summer Academy, Salzburg (Austria);1992-93: Delfina’s Studio, London; 1995: Dragon Studios, London; 1997: Casino Pedrocchi, Padova; 2001: Corporate Connoisseurs, London; 2003: Galleria La Rinascente, Padova; Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires; 2004: Studio Show, Gas Works, London; 2005: Retrospective Show, Salon des Arts, London; 2006-07: Open Studio Show: Ceramics, works on paper, Mobile Mural; “Art Feast”, Salon des Arts; 2009: London Design Week/Natuzzi; 2010: Maya Gallery, London; 2011: Art Moor House, London; Convento de Santo Domingo, Ronda (Spain); 2012: Centro Cultural, El Viso del Alcor;Antares, Sevilla; Sala Gran Capitan, Granada (Spain); 2013: Institut Français, London; 2015: Asia Contemporary Art Fair and Maritime Museum (Hong Kong); Art Moor House; St Stephen Wallbrook, (London) Chapelle de Saint Buc, Dinard (France); 2019: Art Moor House, London; ‘Typing Music’, St Botolph, London.

 

Collective Shows:

1987: Casa de la Cultura Jujuy; Museo de Arte Visuale, Concordia (Argentina); 1988: Third National Salon, Painting and Engraving, Buenos Aires; San Vidal Gallery, Venice; 1989: La Cupola Gallery; Piazza Cavour Gallery, Padova (Italy); 1990: ‘Colore della Cittá’ di Padova (First Prize); Talkhaus, Salzburg (Austria); Logos International Contemporary Art Fair, Milan; 1991: Art ’91: International Contemporary Art Fair, Olympia, London; Logos International Contemporary Art Fair, Padova; 1994: Mostra Nazionale di Pittura Contemporanea, Santhià (Italy); Nomad’s Feast, London; CSK Gallery, Eton (UK); 1996: Canning House, London; 2001-2003: Chase, Royal College of Art, London;  2002: Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, (Mexico); 2004, 2005: Salon des Arts, London; 2010: “Elephant Parade”, London; 2011: Italian Embassy, Fiumatto Fine Arts, London; ‘Jungle City’, Edinburgh;‘Elephant Parade’, Copenhagen & Milan; 2012: Fabergé Big Egg Hunt, Covent Garden, London; 2017: Borchard Self Portrait Prize, Kings Place, London.

“MIA is someone with great talent and energy. Her work has an original character, with striking
colour combinations, texture and sinuous line. She creates a unique painterly world and has great
imagination and creative intelligence.”

Fabrizio Plessi (Venezia)

“We have become too intellectual in our ways of perceiving things. The dominance of rational
thought over activities based on feeling prevents us from understanding the fullest dimension of
any concept, which means we are unable to reach the nucleus of an idea and, above all, cannot
experience the full intensity of emotion. This is the point: Iʼm sure that in the new city of tomorrow,
we will be able to think more with the body and heart than with the head. For MIA, emotion is
colour and colour is the virtual expression of emotions.”

Pierre Restany, 1930-2003
(Foreword to catalogue of MIA’s show, Centro Borges, Buenos Aires, 2003)

“MIA’s expressiveness is not directed towards any object in particular, but moves ‘within’ a
fundamental emotion that characterizes her entire work. It works within the sentiment of nature and
within the feeling of time… MIA’s painting thus becomes a symbol of a deep and individual
memory, and also a collective, environmental, archaic and recent remembrance that touches and
moves the intimate fibres of being.”

Giorgio Segato (Padova)

“We are amid exuberant, distinctive landscapes which, on second glance, create happy abstract
compositions in which rhythmic lines of colour unexpectedly become curves and shapes. This
rigorous and very controlled procedure creates a sense of gentleness combined with a great depth
of emotion, which magically and perhaps entirely reflects the authenticity of an original and
intelligent artist.”

Silvana Weiller Romanin Jacur (Padova)

María Inés Aguirre, MIA, has an original, well-crafted, artistic idiom in which chromatic overload expresses an intense spirituality which touches the observer. Colour dominates her work, through the inflections, variations and emotional journeys she creates, but despite the strength of her colours, her work is simple, warm, clean and gentle. This artist has great mastery of her painterly idiom. She is direct, exuberant when she wants, and sincere in creating works that inform.

Francisco Bautista Toledo (Granada, 2012)

Mia’s piano is designed to focus the attention of both the performer and the audience, to intensify the communication that they have with one another. It suggests the possibility of the gesamtkunstwerk – the total work of art. This phrase is chiefly associated, among composers, with Richard Wagner, who did not write much music for the piano, though there are plenty of transcriptions of passages from his operas. As an attainable ideal, the gesamtkunstwerk is probably best regarded as a kind of phantom, something we can never, as imperfect human beings, quite manage to attain. This piano, however, can be thought of as a kind of monument to a wonderful possibility. It stands for things we can imagine, which are always stronger in the end than the things we actually know. In painting this Steinway, María Inés Aguirre offers both performers and audiences a bridge to that never attainable totality

Edward Lucie-Smith (London, 2019)

“MIA is someone with great talent and energy. Her work has an original character, with striking
colour combinations, texture and sinuous line. She creates a unique painterly world and has great
imagination and creative intelligence.”

Fabrizio Plessi (Venezia)

“We have become too intellectual in our ways of perceiving things. The dominance of rational
thought over activities based on feeling prevents us from understanding the fullest dimension of
any concept, which means we are unable to reach the nucleus of an idea and, above all, cannot
experience the full intensity of emotion. This is the point: Iʼm sure that in the new city of tomorrow,
we will be able to think more with the body and heart than with the head. For MIA, emotion is
colour and colour is the virtual expression of emotions.”

Pierre Restany, 1930-2003
(Foreword to catalogue of MIA’s show, Centro Borges, Buenos Aires, 2003)

“MIA’s expressiveness is not directed towards any object in particular, but moves ‘within’ a
fundamental emotion that characterizes her entire work. It works within the sentiment of nature and
within the feeling of time… MIA’s painting thus becomes a symbol of a deep and individual
memory, and also a collective, environmental, archaic and recent remembrance that touches and
moves the intimate fibres of being.”

Giorgio Segato (Padova)

“We are amid exuberant, distinctive landscapes which, on second glance, create happy abstract
compositions in which rhythmic lines of colour unexpectedly become curves and shapes. This
rigorous and very controlled procedure creates a sense of gentleness combined with a great depth
of emotion, which magically and perhaps entirely reflects the authenticity of an original and
intelligent artist.”

Silvana Weiller Romanin Jacur (Padova)

María Inés Aguirre, MIA, has an original, well-crafted, artistic idiom in which chromatic overload expresses an intense spirituality which touches the observer. Colour dominates her work, through the inflections, variations and emotional journeys she creates, but despite the strength of her colours, her work is simple, warm, clean and gentle. This artist has great mastery of her painterly idiom. She is direct, exuberant when she wants, and sincere in creating works that inform.

Francisco Bautista Toledo (Granada, 2012)

Mia’s piano is designed to focus the attention of both the performer and the audience, to intensify the communication that they have with one another. It suggests the possibility of the gesamtkunstwerk – the total work of art. This phrase is chiefly associated, among composers, with Richard Wagner, who did not write much music for the piano, though there are plenty of transcriptions of passages from his operas. As an attainable ideal, the gesamtkunstwerk is probably best regarded as a kind of phantom, something we can never, as imperfect human beings, quite manage to attain. This piano, however, can be thought of as a kind of monument to a wonderful possibility. It stands for things we can imagine, which are always stronger in the end than the things we actually know. In painting this Steinway, María Inés Aguirre offers both performers and audiences a bridge to that never attainable totality.

Edward Lucie-Smith (London, 2019)

Montecatini Piano Festival

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