Pablo Echaurren
Make art not money

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Santiago de Chile

June 16 – August 21, 2016

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Chile and the Italian Embassy in Chile.
With the collaboration of the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M. in Bologna and the Fondazione Echaurren Salaris in Rome.

Many works by Pablo Echaurren, recently exhibited in Rome in the solo show entitled Contropittura, held at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, with the addition of other works are coming in the country from which his family originated. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago de Chile is exhibiting for the first time a retrospective of the artist.

Pablo Echaurren was born in Rome in 1951. He started to paint at the age of 18 and, through Gianfranco Baruchello, was discovered by the critic and gallerist Arturo Schwarz, who promoted his work in Italy and abroad. Between 1971 and 1975 he exhibited in Berlin, Basel, Philadelphia, Zurich, New York and Brussels and in 1975 was invited to show at the Paris Biennale. His output at the beginning of his career was along minimalist lines, characterized by a conceptual approach and a rejection of pictorial conventions, offering an alternative to the idea of the work of art as fetish. This is the direction in which the artist has moved ever since, always looking for new languages and new forms of expression and never content to rest on his laurels. Not just a painter, he has engaged in a wide range of applied activities, producing illustrations, posters and book covers, as well as “metacomics” that investigate the possible relationship between the avant-garde and popular art, seeking that necessary and fertile short-circuit between “high” and “low,” between culture and frivolity, in keeping with the ideal of an art open to all. His creativity has also found expression in the field of writing, with the publication of novels and pamphlets on the world of art.

The show, which presents more than 110 of the artist’s works—canvases, drawings, collages, ceramics —dating from between the seventies and the present day, along with an ample section of documents, includes his earliest works, pictures in watercolor and enamel paint of small size that reflect the myths of his generation (politics, music) and his personal inclinations (for the natural sciences and collecting). The show also presents the drawings linked to the experience of the so-called “Metropolitan Indians,” a movement that, in 1977 in Rome, seized on the aesthetic languages of the artistic avant- garde and used them to denounce the illusionistic world of the media. Evident here is his desire to turn the exclusive research of Marcel Duchamp into a tool that could be used by everyone, in keeping with a plan of collectivization of the historical avant-garde. This is followed by canvases painted in the eighties and nineties, in which contemporary history bursts onto the scene (the protest in Tiananmen Square and the fall of the Berlin Wall), or emerges the influence of the pre-Columbian imagination. The exhibition also illustrates his more recent “wall paintings,” in which Echaurren has created a new symbolic alphabet: a series of pictures on the art system that reveal the critical dimension of the artist’s work.

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