Guillermo García Cruz is a Uruguayan artist whose work questions the structures and spaces associated with the institutional, and explores the world through installations, happenings, performances, painting and land art. He lives and works between Montevideo, Madrid and New York, successfully circulating in the contemporary art system from galleries to art fairs thanks to a repertoire of work that constantly challenges this system and undermines the foundation on which it has been built.
García Cruz's research focuses on the processes and dynamics of validation in the contemporary art system, seeking to problematise them. His modus operandi is that of creating visual experiences from real and imaginary exhibition structures, such as art galleries and museums, in order to analyse the conceptual and physical interrelation between such spaces and the art objects they accommodate, order and re-signify. This critical equation can be expressed through photography, and pictorial forms in which the art object functions as an organic and spatially conscious presence that relates to the institution that is to contain such an object, conveying it in architectural terms. Whereas when expressed through installation and three-dimensional work, this equation takes the form of relational objects able to dialogue both with the space they inhabit and with the human presence that circulates within those spaces, and to activate and mobilise the memories and stories of people and places.
In what can be seen as a symbolic form of institutional critique, metaphor and contextualisation play a vital role. The works may begin as sketches on paper or three-dimensional pieces made in the studio and then expand their form and meaning according to the architectural and landscape features with which they will interact. This dialogic relationship between the art object and its physical environment often happens through the re-semantification of materials, surfaces and settings, from ready-mades to the walls or landscapes with which the object itself works or merges, aiming to generate an overarching aesthetic experience. Once this logic is established, the objects created by García Cruz seem to determine a new meaning for the spaces that contain them, subverting, or adding ambiguity, to the canonical understanding of such physical contexts.
Highly metaphorical and relational, García Cruz's work constantly triggers the mnemonic process and stimulates associative skills as well as the viewer's spatial and temporal awareness. His work is a contemporary insight into how art and architecture influence, and are themselves influenced by, personal experience, subjectivity and interaction in the public sphere.
García Cruz is the Founder and Director of MAG School and Space and a Professor at the Catholic University of Uruguay in Montevideo. He has been assigned a Solo Boots at the JustMad art fair in Madrid (2019) and at Pinta Miami (2018). García Cruz has participated in JustLX in Lisbon (2019), Art Lima in Peru (2019), Art on Paper in New York (2019) and Este Arte in Punta del Este (2018-2017). His installation 'Evidências' was on show at the prestigious Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo (EAC) in Montevideo in 2019. He is represented by Galeria Diana Saravia in Montevideo, Impakto in Lima, Juan Risso in Madrid, Di Gallery in Seville and Artemisia Gallery in New York.
By Kalinca Costa Söderlund