Pablo Atchugarry was born in Montevideo to two passionate art enthusiasts; his father Pedro trained under famed Uruguayan Constructivist Joaquin Torres-Garcia before encouraging his son to develop his talent for painting. In 1972, at the age of eighteen, Pablo Atchugarry held his first solo exhibition at the Civic Room in Montevideo; that same year, he conducted his first experiment in sculpture, rendering a horse cast in concrete. In the following years, he would briefly study architecture, exhibit in Brazil and Argentina, and eventually depart South America in 1977 for Europe.
Abroad, Atchugarry experienced success showing his paintings in Copenhagen, Spain, France, Italy, and Milan. After a landmark 1978 show in Lecco, Italy, Atchugarry turned his efforts toward sculpture in 1979. He completed his first monumental sculpture in Carrara marble in 1982, and later that year moved permanently to Lecco. He held his first solo exhibition in 1987 at Bramantino’s Crypt in Milan. Beginning in the late ‘80s and throughout the ‘90s, Atchugarry completed numerous projects for monumental works, including La Pieta—carved from a single twelve-ton block of marble—and Semilla de la Eseperanza, which was installed in the sculpture park on the grounds of Uruguay’s government building.
The Museo Pablo Atchugarry, founded by the artist in Lecco in 1999, houses a body of work spanning Atchugarry’s entire career. He carefully scrutinizes and selects each block of marble with which he chooses to work, and currently sculpts in white Carrara marble from Tuscany, gray stone from Bardiglio, black Belgian marble, and pink marble from Portugal, in addition to bronze, ceramic, and wood. In 2012, the Times Square Alliance selected his Dreaming New York to be exhibited in Times Square for the duration of the Armory Show.
Untitled, 2000 – 2012 is a unique and special composition by the sculptor. Instead of letting myriad folds be the focal point, it is the verticality and beauty of the stone and its negative space which are at play here. Making it less a formulaic work than a classic abstraction in Carrara marble. Atchugarry always produces a technically proficient work and we feel here that he was taking some singular efforts There is no singular ideal angle from which to view the work; rather, it reveals itself in its full complexity only when examined as a whole in the round.
Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist)
Christies Nov. 28, 2018
Sothebys Oct. 2020