Pink Portugal marble
50 x 30.5 x 21 cm
© Pablo Atchugarry, Courtesy of Pontone Gallery
Uruguayan sculptor Pablo Atchugarry is known for the smooth, undulating folds of his graceful, sinuous, abstract sculptures. During a career spanning some 40 years, he has produced both small, accessible pieces and vast, monumental works for public display. Creating the smaller forms, such as Untitled, 2015, is an intimate, contemplative process where he “listens to the gentle and delicate voice” of the marble. Working on large-scale pieces, however, is a much more intense physical process - unsurprising when they include works such as Cosmic Embrace: a mammoth 8.5 metre-high, twisting artwork carved from a block of marble weighing a whopping 56-tonnes.
Atchugarry’s method is that of a traditional sculptor: he draws directly onto a block then carves away at the material to reveal curves, folds, apertures and vertical lines that appear to stretch and reach upwards: “They are like plants, they seek the light”. A master craftsman, he then refines and burnishes the material, to achieve a smoothness that subtly references the flesh of the body and the flowing, fine drapery of classical sculpture.
Atchugarry divides his time between Italy and Uruguay where, set amongst a 30-hectare sculpture park surrounded by lakes and lawns, he’s created a foundation to promote the arts.
For more information fundacionpabloatchugarry.org and pontonegallery.com
An exhibition of Atchugarry’s work will be held in the Opera Gallery, Paris, 1-22 June 2018 and in the Boon Gallery, Knokke, 19 July-20 August 2018
Hedge issue 50, pp72-77, May 2018