The Museologist

Francisco Matto: The Modern and the Mythic

Posted in Curatorial, Exhibitions by adevereux on November 24, 2009

Composition on Black Background, 1958The Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin recently ended their exhibit on painter Francisco Matto of Uruguay.  Overall, I found the exhibition disappointing.  The exhibit text emphasized Matto’s involvement with the school of Joaquín Torres-Garcia and his commitment to live and work in Uruguay, rather than follow his contemporaries to Europe.  However, the objects and the layout of the exhibit did little to illuminate the message of the text panels.  Divided into major themes seen in his work, including geometric forms, landscapes, and cityscapes, the exhibit fails to make an encapsulating, cohesive statement on the works of Francisco Matto.  Especially confusing, if not out of place, was the gallery section of Pre-Columbian artifacts “similar” to those collected by Matto, but not actually his own.  The section felt inauthentic.

Despite this harsh evaluation of the Matto exhibit, his works alone were worth the visit to the museum.  Unfortunately, the exhibit is no longer up.  Nonetheless, I recommend looking up Matto and reading about his life and work.

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