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García Uriburu and Benedit join forces again in a notable display

García Uriburu and Benedit join forces again in a notable display

The María Calcaterra gallery presented “A community of origin”an exhibition that brings together two crucial artists for our avant-garde: Nicolás García Uriburu (1937-2016) and Luis Fernando Benedit (1937-2011). The exhibition recounts the friendship between the two, which arose in the early 1960s at the UBA, when they studied architecture together. Then, it also investigates the early awakening of aesthetic affinities, accentuated from 1961, when they traveled to Peru and entered Latin American territory. In 1968 Jorge Glusbergartist, critic and businessman, founded the CAYC, the Art and Communication Center where the brotherhood of Uriburu and Benedit was finally consolidated.

On June 19, 1968 at eight in the morning, the time when the high tide of the Canal Grande expands, from the Rialto and Accademia bridges the immense green stain of fluorescent sodium that had spilled could be seen in the Venice Biennale. Uriburu. With this performance, art had overcome the crisis of the image. The only solution to this crisis – as the critic maintained at the time Pierre Restany– consists of conceptualizing the idea that motivates the image. That day, the French theorist perceived the political conceptualism that floated in the green colors of Garcia Uriburu and the eloquent denunciation of pollution.

In 1970, also at the Venice Biennale and just two years after the aforementioned coloring, Benedict presented his “Biotron”, a facility with 4,000 bees that they could go out from the exhibition hall where the hive was, to the gardens, to drink their nectar in a meadow of artificial flowers. The bees could feed on the contents of the acrylic containers of false but nutritious floral shapes and fly among the plants that nature renews in its life cycle. In addition to this work, Benedit presented the “Minibiotron”, in transparent material for insects or arachnids to inhabit that could be observed carefully through a magnifying glass. “Zoo and botanical microworlds are systems of convergence between reason and sensation, between concept and artistic fact, personal creation and empirical observation of reality,” Glusberg wrote. The complexity and, at the same time, the attractiveness of the work, had a great impact in the Venetian press.

The conjunction between the artificial and the natural is another aspect that unites artists.is the great theme of Uriburu in the successful exhibition “Prototypes for an artificial garden” at the Iris Clert gallery in Paris, a few weeks before its first coloring.

Maria Calcaterra He highlights in his exhibition the priority place that animals occupy, starting with the graceful silhouette of a transparent pink acrylic cat presented in the Paris exhibition. Giraffe Pop Design that is silhouetted on the Pan Am building or the head of a cow in front of the Twin Towers, establish a sharp distance with the scientific climate of the installations and drawings of Benedit, who in 1972 exposed his “Phytotron” which today belongs to the collection of Eduardo Costantini, in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

They both coincide in Manhattan. The installation for hydroponic crops without soil is a greenhouse or scientific chamber. The vegetables grow on volcanic rock, watered with a nutrient solution that, in turn, drains and recycles 200 liters of water and minerals. A set of mixing lamps is the light source, which ensures photosynthesis. He “Fitrotón” is an efficient machine for the development of agricultural production.

Origin of the works

The works in the exhibition, as clarified Calcaterra, come from the secondary market, belong to private owners and are little known. In almost all cases the two artists express their concern for nature. Although the works of Uriburu have been tracked and analyzed in the recent Modern Museum exhibition curated by Alejandra Aguadowith the wonderful artist that he was Benedict, there is an outstanding debt. The New York Curator Dan Cameron He dedicated a text to him years ago and attributes a certain “distancing with the artistic community, to the regular and drastic stylistic changes, always accompanied by rational explanations.”

Add Cameron that the first settings of Benedict Created in 1968, they come from their pioneering approach to art and ecology, with the intervention or incorporation of natural elements in their productions.” There is a work that surprises in Calcaterra, the “Wall anthill” 1968, a space of around half a meter loaded with soil that can be inhabited by ants. But the art of Benedict is not properly valued. It is necessary to go back to the 1996 exhibition curated by Jorge Glusberg at the National Museum of Fine Artsto have a panoramic view of the extensive production with its zoological and botanical universes included.

The text of Jesu Antuña and Mercedes Claus that accompanies the sample, informs: “In the late 1960s, Benedit found a new field of artistic interest. He began building artifacts to house living organisms or explore the properties of the physical world. His works thus became microlaboratories, science projects useful for observing behaviors and behaviors. He designed labyrinths, containers and circuits to be inhabited or traveled by animals, plants and liquids. He manufactured models that replicated nature and put into action stimuli that modified the usual relationships between living beings or matter and the environment.”.

And precisely, in the exhibition there are not the large installations, but rather the sketches and explanations of the works produced that demand certain knowledge for their appreciation. Among the drawings from the 70s are: “Labyrinth for white rats”, “Multiple project – Mini Biotron”, “Multiple project – Fish tank for tropical fish“, “Project for an articulated lobster, “Project for a flammable obelisk” and “Fernando Rufus – Vulgar Homero” (1976).

The Argentine countryside, from the ombúes of Uriburu and synthetic enamel paints Benedict, was always present. The extensive frieze of rural rites and customs is not merely descriptive. Benedict It was oriented towards research and cultural, political and economic analysis of the countryside -exclusively, Argentine-. His works reveal references to history, traveling painters, the gaucho, the paintings of Florencio Molina Campos. And at the end of his career, with the same zeal, he worked on other aspects.

Source: Ambito

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