Rimer Cardillo

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Exhibition Page


March 8, 2016
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Greg Svitil | T: 202.370.0147
gsvitil@oas.org | AMAmuseum.org

Organization of American States
201 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 24 6-8pm
On view March 24 through May 29

WASHINGTON, DC – The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in partnership with the Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) presents “A Journey to  Ombú Bellaumbra,”  a career-spanning exhibition of works by Uruguayan artist Rimer Cardillo, curated by NCMA’s Director, Dr. Karl E. Willers. This exhibition has the support of the State University of New York - New Paltz

This exhibition features a diverse body of Cardillo’s work including prints, photography, sculpture and installations. He creates site-specific pieces that he refers to as cupí (the Guaraní word for anthill), as well as photo and film-based documentary work related to his collaborations with scholars and practitioners in the fields of entomology and archaeology. He is also noted for his journalistic explorations of the Amazonian interior, rural estancias of northern Uruguay and southern Paraguay, and other remote regions of the South American continent. Cardillo draws influences from the landscape and environment of both his native Uruguay and of the Hudson Valley area where he currently lives. His work often reflects his concern over the demise of native people, flora and fauna around the world.

The diverse type of works and techniques represented in this exhibitions include Cardillo’s exploration of the versatility and malleability of handmade paper in a wide variety of sculptural works. In the creation of unique forms called Nests, soft paper pulp is hand pressed into plaster or clay molds cast directly from collected plant specimen or found animal remains. His works also include objects that resulted from plaster poured over the deceased bodies of roadkill - birds and mammals that have come into contact with traffic on encroaching highways or whose habitats have been overrun by urban sprawl and building development.

The exhibition also incorporates Rimer’s uncolored wooden boxes that hold a series of prints made with a complex combination of techniques including etching, aquatint, mezzotint, engraving and embossing. They represent, in the most detailed manner, different species of insects and plants.

Among Cardillo’s most recent works there are cast and welded aluminum sculptures, the Carapaces, are made of cast aluminum. They were created in different small foundries and welding shops that seemed primordial, looking like they were from an ancient time and place.

According to AMA’s director Andrés Navia “the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas has undertaken this exhibition project not only to honor the artist’s talent and accomplishments, but his commitment to democratic values, nature, indigenous cultures, and humanity. Cardillo’s intentions are clear and express the times we live in, questioning our role in our environment, calling our attention to consequences of our actions.”

Regarding curating the exhibition, Dr. Willers says “as an artist of Uruguayan descent living in the United States since the late 1970s, Rimer Cardillo has explored disparate cultures and negotiated socio-political differences through an artistic practice rooted in printmaking but spanning a range of creative media.” Dr. Willers observes that Cardillo’s work “cannot be separated from his social commitment to the preservation of indigenous cultures, the protection of endangered species, and the preservation of vulnerable environments.”

The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas is part of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose primary mission is more rights for more people, as part of the OAS’s Secretariat for Hemispheric Affairs. AMA’s work is based on the principle that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities.  AMA promotes the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, and learning, highlighting themes such as democracy, development, human rights, justice, freedom of expression, and innovation.  AMA’s work advances the inter-American agenda, drawing on the arts to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange.  This is achieved by showcasing cutting-edge exhibits of artists whose output creatively combine aesthetics with topical social and political issues.

Rimer Cardillo was born in 1944 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He received his M.F.A at the National School of Fine Arts (Montevideo), and later studied in Germany at the Weissenssee School of Art and Architecture (Berlin) and the Leipzig School of Graphic Arts. Cardillo is a Guggenheim Fellowship award winner who represented Uruguay at the 2001 Venice Biennial and has had many group and solo exhibitions throughout the Americas as well as in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Cardillo’s work is included in the collections of such prestigious institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, Cincinnati Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art and The New York Public Library, among many other museums in South American and European cities. Cardillo is a professor of art at SUNY-New Paltz. He lives and works in New Paltz, New York City and Montevideo.

The Nassau County Museum of Art is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of art and culture through exhibition and education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. In practice, the Museum pursues the mission by enhancing its permanent collections, sculpture park, historic property and natural setting. Located about 25 miles east of New York City in Roslyn Harbor, Long Island on the former Frick Estate, a spectacular property in the heart of Long Island's fabled Gold Coast.

For more information on AMA, please visit AMAmuseum.org