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12/29/2017 to 01/28/2018




 Successful artists are not normally the most generous creatures towards their colleagues and peers. Nor are they the most assiduous supporters of collegiality. The artistic temperament usually strikes those with remarkable capabilities who find favor with an audience that showers them with applause in theaters, concert halls or art galleries.


         History is full of examples. Picasso and Dalí offer us the example closest to home in regard to such personalities, which wear the crown of genius but are condemned to egotism. And let’s not suppose that they were products of contemporary commercialism, because if we look to the Renaissance we find Titian, the all-time eternal Venetian master, who spared no effort ensuring his art would amount not only to personal wealth but also be a testimony to his ambition for showy trumpery. We could look at any era and find no shortage of examples of this coexistence between talent and egotism. Cézanne and Gauguin, for instance, are pillars that all contemporary art is based on and forged unexpected paths, but led lives dominated by personalism and by rejection of the offer of friendship.

 This perception leads us to appreciate the exceptional nature of Pablo Atchugarry, a great artist who, at a time when his art had reached its greatest heights, its greatest degree of international recognition, built a Foundation not only open to the public but also to his peers, whose sculptures he used to fill a vast rural space in the amiable landscape of the Maldonado mountains. For ten years, creative joy has bubbled over amiably in this place, sparked by the simple humanity that distinguishes the personality of its founder. There is the studio, with the hint of suggestion in those stones that gradually come to life, the inanimate materials that are transformed and that fascinate; the amphitheater, where concerts are held; the auditorium, inhabited by voices and sounds; the exhibition halls, where works by the estate’s owner alternate with those of other artists, sometimes well-established but largely young people who he fosters and promotes; and, of course, the sculpture park, which sprawls across 25 hectares, among lakes and intriguing hills.

The Foundation is, beyond any other consideration, an act of generosity. The same generosity with which we remember Pablo in the sculpture park at the Libertad building in 1996, up on a ladder finishing his “Semilla de Esperanza” [Seed of Hope], a vibrant Carrara marble work with which he enriched that exemplary showcase of modern Uruguayan sculpture. It was one of life’s privileges to be able to watch, from the president’s office, that giant who worked with the simplicity of a laborer and transported our imaginations to Michelangelo and his “Moses”, which he wanted to make talk. He’s the same man who dazzles at international fairs or exhibits his work in the Roman Forum and then returns, each summer, to keep on infusing life into that place where we reconcile ourselves with humanity.

 Pablo has dedicated this book to his brother Alejandro, a secular saint, who was our Minister of Economy and Finance at the worst point of the 2002 crisis and who, with his kindness, his spirit of sacrifice and his boundless ability for dialogue, managed to maintain the institutional calm that enabled us to overcome our difficulties.

 Amid so much misfortune, amid the flood of discouraging news that speaks of a world where the blinding light of science, which drives revolution in life, coexists with the darkest expressions of hate, intolerance and violence, we suddenly find ourselves in that temple of serenity, in which art and nature conjugate the same verb, distancing us from the world of ambition and fratricidal passions and making us feel, like in the poem by Ruben Darío, that “Pandora’s box still holds hope”…



Items of interest


Pablo Atchugarry. Coloso por Valeria Tanco. Diario: El Observador.

La obra de este escultor uruguayo puede valer desde 18 mil dólares si es una de las esculturas más pequeñas, hasta más de 1 millón de dólares




Patio. Boletín de la Facultad de Arquitectura de la Udelar.