Nicolás Uriburu

(Argentina) b.1937

Lives and works in Buenos Aires

Nicolás Uriburu is an Argentinian contemporary artist, landscape architect and ecologist. His work in land art is aimed at raising consciousness about environmental issues such as water pollution. His Three Graces, a sculpture in the pop art style, earned him a Grand Prize at the National Sculpture Salon in 1968. Venturing into conceptual art, he mounted an acrylic display at the Iris Clert Gallery, creating an artificial garden that set a new direction for García Uriburu's work towards environmental activism.

In addition to his work as an artist, Uriburu has worked on social issues. His defense of the environment has included multiple tree plantings, both in Argentina and in Europe. He is a founding member of Grupo Bosque, with whom he participated in reforestation campaigns in Maldonado, Uruguay.

In Buenos Aires, he is the president of a foundation that bears his name dedicated to the study of the art of the first American peoples. He is the lifetime curator of the museum in Maldonado, Uruguay that houses the Colección de Pintura y Escultura Nacional which he donated to the Uruguayan state. That museum also bears his name.

Green Manifesto Portfolio (Paris 1973):  In the creative process of Uriburu´s work, the concept appears as a methodological way of expression: land art, body art, sociological art. The idea replaces the object or, rather, the tactical device determined by this idea, its “system” of communication. This Portfolio, which won first prize at the Tokyo Biennale in 1975, represents the "art system" of Uriburu’s green cause.

The Rebellion (Fist) (Paris 1973): One of a series of four paintings, displays a symbolic reminder of “Green Power.” Part of his series Antagonism between Nature and Civilization, this painting clearly shows that his aesthetic approach is at the service of a political philosophy of ecology.

Cases II and III (Buenos Aires 1997): Two of a series named Polluting companies sponsor. These colored digital photographs denounced the polluting activities of nine companies which poured their toxic waste into the Riachuelo (or “Matanza”) River, contaminating an area inhabited by 5 million people. This project was presented in the Biennial of Buenos Aires in 2000.

Victim and Victimizer (Buenos Aires 1996-2000): This series represents the "Green metaphor" that denounces the green tax that the man levies on Nature by razing woods to turn them into furniture. In this series Uriburu rescues the memory of these objects that long to become trees again, pieces of furniture that would like to be one with the woods once more.

In 1968, Nicolás Uriburu received the Gran Premio de Pintura Nacional in Argentina. His international awards include: Prix Lefranc, Paris (1968); First Prize at the Tokyo Biennale (1975); and the lifetime achievement award Fondo Nacional de las Artes’ Premio a la Trayectoria, Buenos Aires (2000). Since his Coloration of the Gran Canal of Venice during the 1968 Venice Biennale, his large scale interventions in nature have attempted to raise consciousness about pollution in rivers and seas.

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