Santiago, Chile

Cristóbal Lehyt

Fundación Telefónica

In “The Penultimate Landscape,” Cristóbal Lehyt presented a compelling meditation on systems of representation and the impossibility of communicating an “authentic” national identity. The artist, a Chilean living in New York since 1995, explored these contradictions, inconsistencies, and contrasting modes of nationality through three precisely crafted new works named after places in Chile: Pomaire (all works 2009), a town outside Santiago known for its pottery; Antofagasta, a key port city in northern Chile, once part of the Inca Empire; and La Costa, the Pacific coastline that threads down the length of this sliverlike country.

The exhibition departed dramatically from the artist’s previous work, typically “lo-fi” constructions using video, photocopy, or pencil drawing. Pomaire is a monumental accumulation of hundreds of handmade clay objects—pots, plates, containers, and piggy banks,

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