Pablo Atchugarry: Light Charms Marble
Lovers of sculptures and modern art visiting Punta del Este must include a trip to the lair of Pablo Atchugarry in Manantiales.
Atchugarry creates massive yet delicate abstract works in sensuous, silken, cloud-white Carrara marble. Often weighing over half a ton, but appearing feather-light, His works are equated by many connoisseurs with angel-wings and by others with curvy torsos.
Visitors to Atchugarry’s museum who wander into his studio beside the parking lot in a glass-walled white space filled with powder-fine marble are apt to catch the master at work.
He is a giant of a man, and excels at turning stones into poetry. According to the experts the key is in the way light dances and reflects in all his marble works. It is said that the sculptor chooses his material, but also that marble chooses its sculptors. If that is so, then Carrara marble must love Atchugarry.
Pablo Atchugarry was born in Montevideo on August 23, 1954. His father Pedro, an art lover, perceived his son’s skill and interest early on, and stimulated Pablo from childhood to come into the world of art. In the beginning he showed his talent through painting, but then he discovered other materials such as cement, iron, wood and finally marble.
In the late 70s, after several exhibitions in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Porto Alegre and Brasilia, Atchugarry made several trips to Spain, France and Italy, where in 1978 he had his first personal exhibition in the city of Lecco (by lake Como). After that, his paintings were exhibited in several European cities including Milan, Copenhagen, Paris and Stockholm.
In 1979, after experimenting with a variety of materials, Atchugarry discovered marble and made his first sculpture in Carrara entitled "Lumière".
In 1982, still working with marble from Carrara, Atchugarry decided to settle in Lecco, following the completion of the sculpture entitled "La Pietà", a piece carved from a 12-ton block of Carrara marble which he completed in 1983.
In 1999 he established the Pablo Atchugarry Museum in Lecco, exhibiting works of his entire artistic career.
In 2007 he set up the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation in Manantiales, Uruguay, with the intention of fostering the arts among young Uruguayans and creating a meeting place for Uruguayan artists of all disciplines. Also in 2007 he completed an 8-metre-high sculpture entitled "In the Light", carved from a 48-ton block of marble for the Fontana collection in Italy.
In 2008 the National Museum of Visual Arts in Montevideo, dedicated an exhibition to Atchugarry’s work lasting 15 years.
In 2009, he created a sculpture entitled "Punta del Este Light and Power" in Carrara marble 5 metres tall which he dedicated to the city of Punta del Este. Since then he has been engaged in further developing the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation, creating a park of international sculptures, new exhibition areas and training courses for the dissemination of art reaching thousands of students.
Today, Atchugarry’s work is listed at Christies and Sothebys in London, New York, Paris and Amsterdam. His sculptures are part of public and private collections across all five continents.
Atchugarry currently lives and works half the year in Lecco, Italy and the other half in Manantiales, Uruguay.
Link to the article: http://www.britsoc.org.uy/node/26