Exhibition room 2. Guillermo Kuitca

Since his first exhibition at the age of thirteen, Guillermo Kuitca (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1961) has forged a distinctive path as an artist, creating visually compelling works that reflect his intense and often ambivalent relationship to his primary medium: painting. [...] Since the early 1980s, the artist’s work has been characterized by recurring imagery, most notably spatial and mapping motifs. Central among these are images of theater sets and seating charts, architectural plans, road maps, beds, numerical sequences, and baggage-claim carousels, through which Kuitca explores universal themes of migration and disappearance, the intersection of private and public space, and the importance of memory. His prolific career encompasses a diverse body of work that inspires viewers not only to contemplate their relationship to the piece in front of them, but also to their place within individual spaces and the larger world.

Source: The Hirshhorn Museum www.hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/hirshhorn-past-exhibitions

Kuitca arrived at his Cubist technique unexpectedly, but Cubism and its progeny became a primary subject of the series. Perhaps reflecting the heavily worked surface of the first of these paintings, Desenlace I, he confided, “The past hundred years seemed to me a very dense space in relation to which I wanted to position myself, but not in the sense of a Postmodernist citation or a pastiche, or even in an ironical way. There is humor in the works, but they are not ironical.”

This meditation on the past century took two primary directions: engagement with European artists or movements that derived from Cubism, and reconsideration of the history of Latin American artists’ relationship to Cubism, [which] mainly came to South America at mid-century, in a wave that swept through many of the continent’s countries with such success that it became the equivalent of an academic style for artists wishing to be modern.

Source: exhibition catalogue for “Post-Picasso: Contemporary Reactions,” Michael FitzGerald