Pablo Atchugarry

April, 21 - June, 09, 2017

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Pre-columbian memory I
Bardiglio gray marble. 2012. 82 x 14 x 14,5 cm
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Harp Pre-columbian memory I Pre-columbian memory II

This coming Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m., Galería de Arte Enlace Arte Contemporáneo, located at Av. Camino Real 1123, will inaugurate the individual sculpture exhibition MEMORIA PRECOLOMBINA (PRE-COLUMBIAN MEMORY) by the noted Uruguayan artist PABLO ATCHUGARRY, in his first solo show in Lima. Pablo is one of the most important sculptors working today, ranking among those with the most public monumental works on display around the world. The exhibition presented by Pablo Atchugarry in Lima is made up of a group of ten medium-sized sculptures, made from bronze, Carrara marble, Portuguese pink marble, and Bardiglio gray marble. “For some time now, Pablo Atchugarry has exhibited a marked preference for a direct approach to the stone, working with it without intermediation of any sort, whether it be in ideation, execution, or procedure. He personally selects his marble blocks, cut into parallelepipeds suitable to begin his work, choosing almost exclusively between two different materials: the statuary marble of Carrara, diaphanous and initially neutral and abstractive; and the pink marble of Portugal, sensual and mutable, chromatically evocative, often furrowed by striking polymorphous intrusions that follow unpredictable courses, with an inevitable symbolic relevance. From that moment on, there begins a direct, body-to-body contact with the hard matter. Naturally, the sculptor—who works solitarily in his studio in Lecco, face-to-face with the Manzonian mountains—exploits all of the operative possibilities offered by modern technology, from saws to pneumatic chisels, from drills to mechanical and chemical abrasives. Despite these facilitations, his work still retains an aura of immense physical challenge, evoking the ironic comment made by Leonardo in his mordant notes, when he states that sculpture is not a science according to the aristocratic ideals of humanism, but a ‘mechanical exercise, often accompanied by a great deal of sweat.’” –Carlo Pirovano, art historian, Italy. “The story of Atchugarry’s sculptures all starts here, in forms that rise to the heavens, comprehending and conversing with the space of the environment—real, not described—with its natural reminiscences and structural simplifications, in the search for an essence that the material in reference does not annul, but instead strips of descriptive connotations. Nature remains as one of the primary records of the artist’s ‘doing,’ yet he is not a naturalist. And so it becomes possible to believe in the presence of a ‘primitivism’… A conversation with primary reference points, constituently uncommitted to the motive. (…) ‘Although the work emerges from the devastation of a block of stone, the folds are always noticeable, as if the work had been commenced in a material that later retreated and interlaced itself.’” –Luciano Caramel, curator, “Sculpture as an Art of Symbols for the Community” Pablo Atchugarry (born 1954, Montevideo, Uruguay). Early on, his parents noted the artistic interests and talents of young Pablo. From the time he was a boy, they encouraged him to follow his artistic path. In his earliest works, the artist expressed himself through painting, but he would gradually go on to discover other materials, such as cement, iron, or wood. His first sculpture in cement dates from 1971 (“Caballo” (“Horse”)). It would be followed by other works made from cement and iron, including “Escritura simbólica” (“Symbolic Writing”) (1974), “Estructura cósmica” (“Cosmic Structure”) (1974), and “Metamorfosis prehistórica” (“Prehistoric Metamorphosis”) (1974). In the late 1970s, after taking part in a series of collective exhibitions in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Puerto Alegre, and Brasilia, Pablo Atchugarry took several trips to Spain, France, and Italy to study and expand his knowledge and repertoire of techniques. He held his first solo show in Lecco, Italy in 1978. After that, he would go on to exhibit his paintings in cities such as Milan, Copenhagen, Paris, Chur, Bergamo, and Stockholm. In 1979, after experimenting with different materials, he discovered the extraordinary elegance of marble, and created his first sculpture from Carrara, titled “La Lumière.” In 1982, he undertook his first monumental project in Carrara marble. That same year, he settled permanently in Lecco and began to sculpt “La Pietà” from a single, twelve-ton block of marble. In 1987, he held his first individual sculpture exhibition in Milan, at the Crypt of the Bramantino, commissioned by Raffaele de Grada. In late 1996, one of his works, “Semilla de la esperanza” (“Seed of Hope”), was installed in the sculpture park at the Palace of Government in Montevideo, Uruguay. In 1999, the artist inaugurated the Museo Pablo Atchugarry, home to works created over the course of his entire career, with bibliographic documentation and archives on all of his oeuvre. Twenty years after Atchugarry moved to Italy, the Province of Milan organized a survey show of his work at the Palazzo Isimbardi in the Lombard capital, under the title Le infinite evoluzioni del marmo. That same year, the artist began to work on his first largescale monumental piece, “Obelisco del Terzo Millennio,” a sculpture made from Carrara marble measuring 6 meters high, intended for the Italian city of Manzano, in Udine. Also in 1999, he won the national contest organized for the creation of the “Civiltà e cultura del lavoro lecchese” monument, a large sculpture from white Bernini marble measuring 6 meters tall and weighing thirty tons. In 2002, Carrara awarded him the Michelangelo Prize in recognition of his career as an artist. That year, he would also complete various major projects, most notably “Ideali,” a sculpture created to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the coronation of Prince Rainier, which can be admired on Avenue Princesse Grace in Montecarlo, Monaco. In 2003, he represented Uruguay in the 50th Venice Biennale, with his work “Soñando la paz” (“Dreaming Peace”), a group of sculptures made up of eight large pieces, five of them in Carrara marble and three in Bardiglio marble from the Garfagnana. Also in 2003, he finished the sculpture “Ascensione,” commissioned by the Fundació Fran Daurel of Barcelona, Spain. In 2004, he created “Energia Vitale,” a sculpture made from Portuguese pink marble installed at the Beilinson Center in Petah Tikva, Israel. The following year, an exhibition of his work was organized in Argentina, at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires. From June to November 2006, a major survey show of his work was on display at the Groeninge Museum in Bruges, Belgium, with pieces coming from private collections around the world. That same year, the Coleção Berardo of Lisbon, Portugal, acquired the sculpture “Camino Vital” (“Life’s Path”). In 2007, the artist inaugurated the Fundación Pablo Atchugarry in Manantiales, Uruguay, with the goal of promoting the arts and creating a meeting place for artists from all different disciplines, an ideal site for the union between art and nature. That same year, he finished his work “Nella luce,” measuring 8 meters tall, made from a single, 48-ton block, commissioned by the Collezione Fontana in Italy. In 2007 and 2008, a survey show of his work was held in Brazil, under the name The Plastic Space of Light, with an essay by the art critic Luca Massimo Barbero. Initially displayed at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Brasilia, it later traveled to the Museu Brasileiro da Escultura in São Paulo, MuBe, and the Museu Oscar Niemeyer in Curitiba. In 2008, the Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales in Montevideo organized a survey show dedicated to his artistic activity over the previous fifteen years. In 2009, he completed the work “Luz y Energía de Punta del Este” (“Light and Energy of Punta del Este”) from a single block of Carrara marble measuring 5 meters tall, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city’s founding. In 2011, after seven years of work, he finished “Abbraccio Cosmico,” a monumental work made from a 56-ton marble block measuring 8.5 meters tall. That same year, he held his first individual exhibition in New York, at the Hollis Taggart Galleries, with an essay by the critic Jonathan Goodman. Then, in March 2012, the Times Square Alliance selected his sculpture “Dreaming New York” to be exhibited in Times Square during the Armory Show Art Fair in New York City. In late 2013, the publishing house Mondadori Electa presented the Catalogo generale della scultura, a catalogue raisonné in two volumes, by Professor Carlo Pirovano, documenting all of the artist’s output between 1971 and 2013. In April 2014, in Kallo-Beveren, Belgium, he installed a statuary sculpture in Carrara marble entitled “Movimento nel Mondo,” measuring 8.35 meters tall. From July to September of that same year, the Museu Brasilero da Escultura in São Paulo held a largescale survey show of his oeuvre, titled A Viagem pela matéria. From May 22, 2015 to February 7, 2016, the Museo dei Fori Imperiali in Trajan’s Market, Rome, held an exhibition entitled Pablo Atchugarry: Città eterna, eterni marmi, giving visitors the chance to admire forty of the artist’s sculptures. Pablo Atchugarry’s works have been exhibited at the following museums and public institutions: Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo; Museo del Parco di Portofino, Italy; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Galleria d’Arte Moderna Raccolta Lercaro, Bologna; Collezione della Provincia di Milano, Palazzo Isimbardi, Milan; Collezione della Provincia di Lecco, Lecco; Fundació Fran Daurel, Barcelona; Groeninge Museum, Bruges, Belgium; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Museu Brasilero da Escultura, São Paulo. Atchugarry currently divides his time living and working in Lecco, Italy and Manantiales, Uruguay, where he spends part of his time focusing on the Fundación Pablo Atchugarry, the International Monumental Sculpture Park, and teaching and disseminating art. The exhibit Memoria precolombina by Pablo Atchugarry can be visited at Galería ENLACE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO through June 9, from Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free and open to the public.