Ignacio Uriarte

Works

Ignacio Uriarte

“When I quitted my last administrative job in order to work as a full-time artist, I realized that the newgained freedom implied a great deal of responsibility. Under no circumstance I wanted to abuse art for the sake of a personal liberation, which would have turned me into a cliché-artist (rebel and marginal). On the contrary, I decided to stay in my own personal ‘petit-bourgeois’ reality in order to deal with it from the inside, using the expertise acquired over the years. That is why I have not stopped using the same tools and methods, similar to those of any office employee, working in a routine way and with routine as my major focus. 

My starting point is the little creative moments within office routines, which mostly have a ridiculously small ‘artistic’ aspect to them. Examples: When we scribble during a phone conversation (20. Bic Monochromes, 2005) or when we rip off a page from a block (10. Blocs, 2003) we are creating small paintings and sculptures. The systematic repetition of these activities according to predefined rules turns them into meta-routines, into re-enactments of the Sisyphus myth. The only difference is that the resulting pieces register in detail the methodical and repetitive labour that was necessary for their production. This way, the routine survives, enabling the audience to read and mentally recreate it. 

Esthetically, my work shows clear references to the conceptual and minimal art of the ‘60s and ‘70s. In those years the dematerialization of the art object in the art world and the substitution of products by services in the business world occurred almost simultaneously. Maybe that is why the esthetics also started to look alike, e.g. in the chromatic limitation or in the formal simplicity, which would signal how both commercial products and art objects now would be generated in a (blank) mind. We could even speak of a mutual fetishization which led, for instance, to the use of neon light and the archive as artistic media and to the preferred use of minimalist art as decoration in offices.”

CV

Born in 1972, in Krefeld (DE). Lives and works in Berlin (DE)

STUDIES

1992-1995

Business Administration, Europäische Wirtschaftsakademie, Madrid (ES) 

1999-2001

Audiovisual Arts Studies, CAAV Universidad de Medios Audiovisuales, Guadalajara (MX)

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019

‘Three Ways to Draw and One Way to Call for Attention’, Gaep, Bucharest (RO)

‘210 x 297 mm’, Kunstraum Lakeside, Klagenfurt (AT)

‘Verwaltungstakte’, Kunstmuseum Reutlingen – konkret, Reutlingen (DE)

2018

‘X, Y, Z’, Museo ABC, Madrid (ES)

‘Divisions and Reflections’, i8, Reykjavik (IS) 

‘Apropos Papier: Ignacio Uriarte, Bürokünstler’, Leopold Hoesch Museum Düren (DE)

2017

‘How to Define Space’, White Space, Beijing (CN) 

‘Form und Farbe – Analyse und Synthese’, Philipp von Rosen Galerie, Cologne (DE) 

‘Muro e parete’ (with Sol Lewitt), Galleria Gentili, Florence (IT)

‘Tipología de dibujo escultórico’, Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid (ES)

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2015

‘Tres’, Mies van der Rohe Pavillion, Barcelona (ES) 

‘Valores numéricos’, L21, Palma de Mallorca (ES) 

‘+ / -‘ (with Fiene Scharp), 401 Contemporary, Berlin (DE)

2014

’Ignacio Uriarte’, White Space, Beijing (CN) 

‘Acht Stunden zählen’, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (DE)

‘Ignacio Uriarte’, i8, Reykjavik (IS)

2013

‘Binaries’, UMOCA – Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (USA)

‘Line of Work’, The Drawing Center, New York (USA)

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020

‘Structuring Chance’ (curated by), Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld (DE)

2019

‘A White Space Odyssey‘, White Space, Beijing (CN)

‘Nine Qwerty Bells. Fiction for live voice‘, Whitechappel Gallery, London (UK)

‘A Day’s Work’, Stiftung für konzeptuelle Kunst, Soest (DE)

2018

‘Germany is not an island’, Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (DE)

‘La perspectiva esencial’, Centro de arte Alcobendas, Madrid (ES)

‘Borderline Relation’, Gaep (formerly Eastwards Prospectus), Bucharest (RO)

2017

‘Conversation Piece’, La Galleria Nazionale, Rome (IT)

‘Art and Alphabet’, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg (DE)

‘FORMASOBREFONDO’, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City (MX)

‘Tempo líquido’, Arquipélago Centro de artes contemporaneas, The Azores (PT)

‘Out of Office. Büro-Kunst oder Das Büro im Museum’, Museum für konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt (DE)

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2016

‘Concret’, nationalmuseum, Berlin (DE)

‘Cut, Folded, Pressed & Other Actions’, David Zwirner, New York (USA)

‘3/1/1’, Zak Branicka, Berlin (DE) 

‘EchtZeit – Die Kunst der Langsamkeit’, Kunstmuseum Bonn (DE)

‘Forjando el espacio’, Colección DKV, Museo del Patrimonio Municipal, Málaga (ES) 

2015

‘Office Space’, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (USA) 

‘Drawing – The Bottom Line’, S.M.A.K. Ghent (BE)

‘Especies de Espacio’, MACBA, Barcelona (ES)

‘Drawing Now’, Albertina Museum, Vienna (AT) 

‘Listening to the Lines’, Maison Hermès, Tokyo (JP)

‘The Future of Memory’, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (AT)

2014

‘Una pausa para reflexionar’, MUSAC, León (ES)

Press

“Arta, în general, tratează teme majore, cum ar fi politica. Dar adeseori ignoră rutina de zi cu zi a oamenilor. Poate părea destul de limitat să vorbești despre activități banale, rutină și repetiție, dar ele relevă elemente universale. Unul dintre ele este ciclicitatea vieții în toate aspectele ei. Măsurăm timpul, totul se repetă, după zi urmează noapte și invers; ba chiar și politica se învârte în jurul noțiunilor de dreapta și de stânga. Toate acele lucruri mărunte care se petrec într-un birou pot fi transpuse și înțelese la un nivel global, un pic filosofic. Când schimbi unghiul din care privești, poți să descoperi potențial artistic în orice fel de acțiune.”

Exhibitions