Nicolás García Uriburu (1937–2016)

Monopol reports Argentinian artist Nicolás García Uriburu died on Sunday. His death was confirmed by the Rivadia Hospital in Buenos Aires through the news portal Infobae; the cause of death was not disclosed.

Considered a pioneer of Land Art, he created work that was aimed at raising awareness about environmental issues such as water pollution. García Uriburu first came to international attention during the 1968 Venice Biennale for dyeing Venice’s Grand Canal using fluorescein, a harmless pigment which turns a bright green when synthesized by microorganisms in the water. He repeated the act on New York’s East River, the Seine, and the port of Antwerp. In 1981, García Uriburu was joined by Joseph Beuys when he colored Düsseldorf’s Rhine River; afterwards they exhibited bottles of its polluted water.

While attending Beuys’s performance of planting seven-thousand oaks in Kassel during Documenta 7, García Uruburu prompted the planting of fifty-thousand oaks in Buenos Aires. The artist is also known for his nature-related paintings, some of which are among the most iconic works of Argentinian Pop Art.

He was awarded the Grand Prix National Painting in 1998, the Prix Lefranc in 1968, the first prize of the Biennial of Tokyo in 1975, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Endowment for the Arts in 2000.