Antonio Pujía (born June 11, 1929) is a well-known Argentine sculptor.
Life and work
Antonio Pujía was born in Polia, a small town in the Calabria region of Italy, in 1929, and relocated to Buenos Aires with his mother in 1937. Pujía began attending the city's numerous ateliers in 1943, developing an interest in painting and sculpture; among his early mentors was the noted realist sculptor Rogelio Yrurtia, and in 1954 Pujía was named professor of drawing at the Prilidiano Pueyrredón School of Fine Arts.
Continuing to teach, Pujía won a 1956 competition for the post of director of the newly created sculpture department of the Colón Theatre. He obtained a grand prize at the 1959 Municipal Salon, and in the 1964 National Arts Fund festival, as well as his first personal exhibit, at the prestigious Witcomb Gallery, in 1965. Pujía was close to a number of the opera house's ballet company dancers, and he created a bust of Norma Fontenla (on display at the theatre's foyer). He established his own atelier, and left his post at the Colón Teatre in 1970 to teach at his studio, full-time.
His 1970 work, Biafra (in reference to the Nigerian Civil War or otherwise known as the "Nigerian-Biafran War" or "Biafran War"), displayed a departure in his style, which began to dramatize social and global ills. His 1975 exhibit at the San Martín Cultural Center was a particular success, and Pujía added his entire warehouse of works to the initial display. He lived in Spain from 1975 to 1976, working in the renowned Escorial Museum. Pujía later created medals to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Buenos Aires (1980) and the return of democracy with the inauguration of Raúl Alfonsín (1983).
Among his most successful later series was that of his "Homage to the Woman," which he began in 2004. Suspending his teaching activities, he devoted subsequent years to developing the project.