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Marta MinujÃn was born in 1943 in Buenos Aires. She studied fine art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano (1953â€“59) and art education at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes (1960â€“61), both in Buenos Aires. In 1961 she went to Paris as a part of a delegation of Argentine participants in that yearâ€™s Paris Biennial. She returned to Paris the following year after receiving a fellowship to study painting informally in France (1962â€“63). Subsequently, she has split her time between New York and Buenos Aires, where she currently resides.
As a pioneer of happenings, performance art, soft sculpture, and video, MinujÃn pursues a varied and irreverent practice that demonstrates a profound distrust of the collectible art object. She often uses ephemeral materials such as cardboard, fabric, and food in work that is both monumental and fragile. Many of the artistâ€™s actions have employed surprise, provocation, and even violence; some early works saw her destroy all her existing sculptures (The Destruction [La DestruccÃon, 1963]), stage temporary interventions with living animals (The Bump [El Batacazo, 1964]), and subject unwitting viewers to extreme conditions (La Menesunda, 1965). In Paris she began a series of soft sculptures made from modified mattresses stitched together and painted in bold colors. As its title suggests, mattresses also feature in MinujÃnâ€™s Colchones series.