MACA Uruguay. Photo: Disclosure.
MACA Uruguay. Photo: Disclosure.

Until the 30th of April it is possible to visit the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Uruguay, based at MACA –Atchugarry Museum of Contemporary Art. The cultural institution is new in Punta del Este, Uruguay, having opened in 2022, at the beginning of January. Its space is part of the Atchugarry Foundation, created in 2007 by the plastic artist Pablo Atchugarry, whose ambition was to create a museum for his collection of Latin American painting and sculpture. With an architectural project by Carlos Ott, MACA houses four exhibition halls and an auditorium/cinema for 72 spectators.

Its opening was marked by the exhibition in honor of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this being the first time that the work of the emblematic duo has been exhibited in Uruguay. Altogether, MACA brought a set of more than 50 works that occupy the great hall on the first floor; with this, an overview of his production in different formats is presented: photography, drawings, collages and sculptures.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are remembered for their monumental work, for example: valley curtain (1972, Colorado, USA), consisted of 18.600 square meters of orange nylon fabric, hanging over a valley between mountains. In Surrounded Island (1983), in Biscayne Bay, near Miami, they surrounded eleven islets with a floating pink cloth. The Umbrellas in California and in Japan (1991) was an installation of over three thousand umbrellas, and the gates (2005) in New York consisted of a sequence of more than seven thousand orange doors laid out on the paths of Central Park. With Jeanne-Claude passing away in 2009 and Christo in 2020, the last project conceived by the couple was the “packaging” of the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris.

They included, along with their massive sculptures – often cloth wrappings around historic buildings –, documentation related to the bureaucracy needed to carry out the work; environmental impact reports; the drawings and diagrams made in the planning stages of these works. In this way, they proposed a new way for public art to be understood, where the work is more than the final object itself. Part of this documentation and drawings is on display at MACA, which will also produce a Spanish-English bilingual catalog with an intimate interview with Christo and images of all the works on display in the exhibition.

In the building attached to the museum, until the 18th of April, the exhibition heliographs by the argentine artist Leon Ferrari, who, throughout his extensive production, explored different media and expressive means; from his beginnings with ceramics and his incursions into drawing, to artist books, art-object, sculpture and lithography. Most of his achievements are linked to social criticism and the relationship between art and politics.

The works that give the show its title are a series of twenty-seven heliographic prints of images composed of Letraset figures, a medium widely used by graphic designers since the mid-1950s. They vary in orientation and size, although all are large enough to resemble architectural blueprints. These pieces were created during a period of experimentation while Ferrari was in exile in São Paulo.

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