Bold explorations of color and form establish the core of sculptor Pablo Atchugarry’s upcoming exhibition at Hollis Taggart Galleries, "Pablo Atchugarry: Invocations of the Soul." The sculptor’s signature monolithic marble forms approach the classical tradition with a contemporary spirit, finding in raw stone the organic fans and folds for which he is well known. Translated into bronze, this signature aesthetic takes on an entirely different visual character. The recent addition of bold automobile paint to these bronze pieces brings a transformative vibrancy to the work, infusing this exhibition with a fresh chromatic energy.
"Invocations of the Soul" will feature over twenty-five new works in marble and bronze, demonstrating Atchugarry’s continued innovation in these classical materials. Utilizing the time-honored techniques of direct carving and lost-wax casting, the artist transcends his materials’ staid art historical roots through formally and physically powerful works. His sculptures exude a primal, elemental energy that cultivates an aura of otherworldliness. Atchugarry achieves a feeling of monumentality in works both large and small, while simultaneously maintaining a sense of lightness that belies the sculptures’ true weight.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1954, Atchugarry maintains studios in both Punta del Este, Uruguay and Lecco, Italy. He began sculpting in Carrara marble in 1979, a material in which he developed his signature approach; one characterized by a folding and creasing that is both elegant and imposing. His pleated volumes in white, black, and pink Portuguese marble demonstrate the artist’s facility with the medium. Bronze iterations of his marble works allow Atchugarry to explore this formal vocabulary from new perspectives. The transformative effects of color and surface are pushed even further in recent works. These vividly painted sculptures catalyze an almost alchemical change in Atchugarry’s oeuvre, one that will be on full display in the current exhibition.
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany Invocations of the Soul and will include a new essay by poet, critic, and scholar Jonathan Goodman. Goodman has written about contemporary art for over thirty years in publications such as "Art in America," "Sculpture," "artcritical," and the "Brooklyn Rail," among many others. In addition to his avid critical output, Goodman teaches art writing at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.