artist / participant

press release

The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin presents the first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of the art of Jorge Macchi, one of Latin America’s principal contemporary artists. On view through March 16, 2008, Jorge Macchi: The Anatomy of Melancholy features more than 40 of the artist’s most important works from the 1990s to the present, drawn from public and private collections in South America, Europe, and the United States.

Jorge Macchi is co-organized by the Blanton Museum of Art and the Fundação Bienal do Mercosul in conjunction with the Sixth Mercosul Biennial, held in Porte Alegre, Brazil, where the exhibition premiered September 1 – November 17, 2007, before traveling to the Blanton. Following its presentation in Austin, the exhibition will travel to the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The exhibition has been curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, curator of Latin American art for the Blanton, who also served as chief curator of the Sixth Mercosul Biennial. ”Jorge Macchi’s work is widely admired by art experts and the general public alike, but this is the first opportunity to see a comprehensive overview of his work from the early 1990s to the present,” said Pérez-Barreiro. “Macchi’s work is compelling in how he walks the very fine line between sophisticated conceptual strategies and emotive content.”

A 2005 featured artist at the Venice Biennale, Macchi has garnered international attention for his delicate meditations on the poetics of everyday life using a variety of media and formats, from video installations to artist’s books to cut out newspaper collages. His work is characterized by a somewhat melancholic air, with subjects ranging from acts of random violence to unrequited love, the impossibility of conclusion, and the interplay between presence and absence. Among featured works in the show are: Monoblock [Tower Block] (1999), in which text is removed from newspaper obituaries; Guía de la inmovilidad [Guidebook to Stillness] (2003), a guidebook of Buenos Aires from which all of the city blocks have been removed, leaving only a skeletal remnant of a city, and a new commission, Fim de Film [End of the Film], a video work in collaboration with composer Edgardo Rudnitsky, including a film score performed by the Orquesta Sinfo nica de Porto Alegre. The museum is acquiring this work thanks to a generous gift by Museum Council member Ellen Susman and her husband Steve. This acquisition is part of the museum’s effort to acquire Latin American artwork dating from the 1990s to the present day—an endeavor that builds on the Latin American collection’s strengths and maintains its position as one of the preeminent collections in the United States.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1963, Macchi has gained a significant reputation in his native Argentina and Europe, though he is less well known in the United States. Museums that have featured solo exhibitions of his work include the University of Essex in England, Recoleta Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp.

Jorge Macchi: The Anatomy of Melancholy is co-organized by the Blanton Museum of Art and the Fundação Bienal do Mercosul.. Funding for the exhibition is provided by The Bruce T. Halle Family Foundation and the Susan Vaughan Foundation. Transportation provided by Continental Airlines. This project is also supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thanks to a generous gift by Museum Council member Ellen Susman and her husband Steve, the Blanton is acquiring Fim de Film [End of the Film], a work by Jorge Macchi in collaboration with composer Edgardo Rudnitsky, which is included in this exhibition.

Underwriting for the project through the Bienal do Mercosul is provided by Gerdau, Santander Cultural, and Petrobras.

Jorge Macchi
The Anatomy of Melancholy