The exhibition Construir Desconstruyendo offers a glimpse at the fascinating work of rediscovered Uruguayan artist Wifredo Díaz Valdéz (born 1932), who creates unusual wooden sculptures out of imaginatively deconstructed everyday objects.
Wifredo Díaz Valdéz constructs artworks by disassembling furniture, tools, and all sorts of everyday utensils to be found in rural Uruguay, and doing so with the greatest artisanal precision and love of detail. But this well-planned dismantling is not about destruction, but rather the creation of something entirely new. The artist begins by analyzing the object he has selected according to its organic quality, considers the conditions of its wooden structure, the texture of its surface, among other things, before moving on to thinking about possible new volumes as they emerge, and the ultimate artistic potential of the piece. Then he proceeds to his "carpenter" work. The result in each case is what seems like the original object, unchanged, but which can, with the addition of wooden plugs and hinges, be successively opened or unfolded in a playfully elegant fashion.
Metamorphosis of everyday objects
A banal and artless former lampstand, for example, becomes a fancifully appointed rocket. In Díaz Valdéz' hands, vessels for mate tea, the local beverage, are transformed into bizarre abstract sculptures. The memory of the original function of these objects literally vanishes in space. A completely dismantled old wagon wheel or a deconstructed, unfolded chair takes on symbolic meaning.
In his work, Wifredo Díaz Valdéz reverses the cycle of growth and decay, as well as the course of time as such. Out of nature, what once was organically grown wood, emerges a cultural object of use, which is then transformed into a work of art, and is thus torn both from its organic cycle and from its physical decay (as a no longer usable relic of civilization).
About the artist
With Wifredo Díaz Valdéz Daros Latinamerica Collection
presents an artist of whom the international art world has in a sense lost track. Born in 1932 on the periphery of Uruguay and raised in a time and place in which art was not on the agenda, as a young man Wifredo Díaz Valdéz trained to be a carpentera profession to which he has remained true throughout his entire life. Discovered by critics, he made it onto the Uruguayan art scene in the 1960s and had his South American breakthrough later when he was invited to participate in the São Paulo Biennial in 1985. And yet there was never much of a hubbub about Wifredo Díaz Valdéz, who does not make a fuss about himself and continues to lead an unspectacular Uruguayan everyday life in Montevideo to this day.