An exciting new generation of contemporary artists from Chile are exhibited for the first time in Europe at Tectonic Shift: Contemporary Art from Chile at Phillips de Pury & Company
on view through January 28, 2011. Featuring artists including; Magdalena Atria, Catalina Bauer, Cristóbal Lehyt, Livia Marin, Josefina Guilisasti, Alvaro Oyarzún, Gerardo Pulido, Tomás Rivas, Pablo Rivera, Cristián Silva, Malu Stewart, and Paz Errazuriz, the exhibition has been drawn from the collection of Chiles most celebrated patron, 26 year old Juan Yarur. It celebrates the most compelling contemporary artists working in Chile today. A further work from the collection, Josefina Guilisastis The Duel, 2009, are exhibited separately at the Phillips de Pury & Companys space at Saatchi Gallery, on view until January 16, 2011.
This wave of artists emerged through the new democracy in Chile in the late 1990s and caused the nations art scene to take stock and discover a new direction. The works presented are monumental in size but are created with undeniably modest materials, often everyday items, with the choice of source materials reflecting the attitude and reaction to the production values of first-world art. For the artists, these values are, above all, engagements with process and a desire to put the spectator in the centre of a fantastical, obsessive, formal, abstract and narrative universe. And, in contrast to the previous generation (Eugenio Dittborn, Gonzalo Diaz, Alfredo Jaar and others), overtly political expression is left to one side in favour of journeys through personal, poetic and existential concerns.
Juan Yarur, the youngest patron participating in the Latin American Acquisitions Committee at Tate Modern, and Chiles most celebrated art collector, comments: Chilean art has gained energy from the emergence of this group and I feel honoured to be able to provide the pieces to make such an important exhibition, through the curatorial work of Cecilia Brunson.
Cecilia Brunson, curator of the exhibition comments: Latin American art has previously been viewed through Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Now we see the contemporary art horizon extending beyond the Andes. Brunson has worked with this group of artists independently for the last decade through North and South America. She continues: I celebrate this exciting collection brought together by such a young person. The collection demonstrates courage in the acquisition of challenging collectible work and I admire Juans commitment to the art scene of his native Chile.