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Alfredo Jaar

Alfredo Jaar

New York

The Chilean artist is known for creating immersive installations that address our relationship to and the politics of imagery. Jaar, a self-described architect making art, lives according to the methodology of context is everything.

Biography

Alfredo Jaar was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1956 and has been based in New York City since 1982. The Chilean artist is known for creating immersive installations that address our relationship to and the politics of imagery. Jaar, a self-described architect making art, lives according to the methodology of context is everything. He deeply researches a photograph, an image, a major historic moment, and then tries to distill its meaning, importance, and impact, balancing the realities of often difficult topics with a certain poetry that allows for reflection. He creates space for the viewer to contemplate. Rather than hitting you over the head with an idea, he hits your heart, opens your mind. In a recent exhibition, he confessed to the viewer, “I don’t know what to do in this time.” A sentiment we can all certainly relate to after the past few years.

For over 40 years, Jaar has used photographs, film, installation, and new media to create compelling works that examine complex socio-political issues and the limits and ethics of representation. By using a hybrid form of art-making, Jaar has consistently provoked, questioned, and searched for ways to heighten our consciousness about issues often forgotten or suppressed in the international sphere, while not relinquishing art’s formal and aesthetic power. Over his career, Jaar has explored significant political and social issues including genocide, the displacement of refugees across borders, and the balance of power between developing and industrialized nations.

Jaar’s work has been shown extensively around the world. He has participated in the Biennales of Venice, Italy (1986, 2007, 2009, 2013); São Paulo, Brazil (1987, 1989, 2010); Documenta, Germany (1987, 2002); the Whitney Biennial (2022). In 2020, Jaar was the recipient of the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, the most prestigious award for photography in the world. Jaar was awarded the 11th Hiroshima Art Prize in 2019, and a solo exhibition will be presented in 2023. Other major recent surveys of his work have taken place at the MCA Chicago; Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, France; Hangar Bicocca, Italy; Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlinische Galerie and Neue Gesellschaft fur bildende Kunst e.V., Germany; Rencontres d’Arles, France; and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland. His work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles Museum of Art, California; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Tate Modern, England; Centre Georges Pompidou, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; M+, Hong Kong; and dozens of other institutions worldwide.

 

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