Buenos Aires

Pablo Suárez, Narciso de Mataderos (Narcissus of Mataderos), 1984–85 /1994, oil and enamel paint on plaster, dresser, mirror. Installation view. Photo: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla.

Pablo Suárez, Narciso de Mataderos (Narcissus of Mataderos), 1984–85 /1994, oil and enamel paint on plaster, dresser, mirror. Installation view. Photo: Gustavo Sosa Pinilla.

Pablo Suárez

Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Malba)

In 1968, Pablo Suárez (1937–2006) wrote a letter to Jorge Romero Brest, director of the famed Visual Art Center at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, renouncing his association with the institute by refusing to participate in its imminent “Experiencias 68”––the same exhibition that was subsequently repudiated by many participating artists after the police censored an installation by Roberto Plate. Explicating his disillusionment with the institutionalization of avant-garde practices, which Di Tella symbolized, Suárez took to the streets, delivering multiple copies of his missive to the institute’s doorstep and recruiting neighborhood children to stash it between periodical pages. The act was as much a performance as it was a political statement.

The artist’s gesture of refusal was indicative of his life’s work, encapsulated by the title of this retrospective, “Narciso plebeyo

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