Iván Navarro — Planetarium


Mixed media

Iván Navarro

Past: January 30 → March 20, 2021

Templon paris daniel galerie ivan navarro critique art slash paris 1 1 grid Ivan Navarro — Galerie Templon, Paris La galerie Templon dévoile une dizaine d’œuvres inédites de l’artiste Ivan Navarro qui poursuit son exploration de la lumière pour ... 2 - Bien Critique

The City of Light will be decked out in the colours of conceptual artist Iván Navarro as it hosts two new exhibitions, at Centquatre and Galerie Templon. The arts centre is offering a retrospective look at over 20 years of his work while the gallery is unveiling ten brand new pieces.

Born in 1972 in Santiago, Chile, Iván Navarro grew up under the regime of Pinochet before moving to New York in 1997. Fascinated by the codes of minimalism and American design, he builds electric sculptures whose raw material is light itself. Haunted by his experience of the dictatorship, his work subtly intertwines artistic references and political engagement. He uses lighting, optical illusions and wordplay as tools to transform space, shift perceptions and explore questions of power and control. Over the years he has created pieces that, behind their playful appearance as light installations, evoke the darkest themes of our time: torture, imprisonment, domination, north-south inequalities and propaganda.

With Planetarium, Iván Navarro takes the viewer on a poetic journey through cosmic landscapes. Constellations, nebulae and eclipses inhabit large panels of illuminated glass which open like windows onto infinite space. Both sublime and slightly disturbing, his imaginary maps question the limits of astronomy, mental representations and anthropocentrism. At the heart of this star-strewn voyage, pieces such as Shard refer to fragmentation of grenades; and Mirage, are a hint at lurking danger.

As Iván Navarro explains “observing the stars is like touching the greatest secrets of the universe with your fingertips.” Which gives rise to metaphysical probing: what are the origins of our civilisation? Is history bound to repeat itself? What role could we imagine for human beings in a constantly expanding universe?

This questioning process is driven by the artist’s incursion into hitherto uncharted territory: the use of paint as a working medium. For the first time, Iván Navarro, whose practice has thoroughly explored the boundaries between design, architecture and sculpture, is taking up the paintbrush. Repeating the same movement over and over, he engraves then paints thousands of splashes of vivid colour inside one-way mirrors, transforming the LED lights into explosions and celestial phenomena. This cathartic approach underscores the artist’s examination of the modern human-machine pairing. He sets the object — an industrial-style mirror — against the arbitrary nature of the human hand, the singularity of human touch, the fragility of the human being.

Iván Navarro currently lives and works In New York. He represented Chile at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Over recent years, his work has been shown worldwide: Bifocal, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Buenos Aires (2019); This Land is Your Land, Momentary, part of the Crystal Bridges Museum, USA (2019); This Land is Your Land, solo, Busan Museum, Korea; Age of Terror, Imperial War Museum, London (2018); Light and Space, Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2017); Art Basel Parcours, Switzerland; Yinchuan Biennale, China (2016); Under the Same Sun, South London Gallery (2016 and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2014); Storylines, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015); Light Show, Hayward Gallery, London and Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2013 — 2016).
His art features in a great many international collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC) and the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (Paris). He has been represented by Galerie Templin since 2005.

This winter, a retrospective of his work will be on show at Centquatre, Paris, from 12 December 2020 to 17 January 2021. Publishing house Skira is co-publishing a catalogue with Galerie Templon. Welcome is a 200-page work with texts by José-Manuel Gonçalvès, director of Centquatre-Paris, Pablo Leon de la Barra, curator, and Alfredo Jaar, artist, architect and filmmaker (ISBN: 978-2-917515-39-6).

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

30, rue Beaubourg
28, rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 72 14 10 — F. 01 42 77 45 36

Official website

Arts et Métiers
Etienne Marcel
Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM
Fermé au mois d'août

The artist

  • Ivan Navarro