Jorge Eielson
biography

Jorge Eielson was born in Lima, Peru, in 1924. It was here that he grew up in a milieu bursting with cultural stimuli. He was influenced above all by European culture, but it was Jose Maria Arguedas who was to initiate him into the world of ancient Peruvian culture. In 1949 he was invited to Paris to take part in the first exhibition of abstract art, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. Later he exhibited at one of the most interesting avant-garde galleries in Paris, that of Colette Allendy.

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biography

Jorge Eielson was born in Lima, Peru, in 1924. It was here that he grew up in a milieu bursting with cultural stimuli. He was influenced above all by European culture, but it was Jose Maria Arguedas who was to initiate him into the world of ancient Peruvian culture. In 1949 he was invited to Paris to take part in the first exhibition of abstract art, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. Later he exhibited at one of the most interesting avant-garde galleries in Paris, that of Colette Allendy.

He moved to Rome at the beginning of the 1950s where, in 1953, he exhibited his "Movils" in the Galleria L'Obelisco. The artists he frequented while in Rome were Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Afro, Mirko, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Piero Dorazio, Mimmo Rotella, and Cy Twombly. During this period he wrote one of his most important collections of poetry, Habitación en Roma, and his two novels, El cuerpo de Giulia-no e Primera muerte de María. In 1959 he began to use such heterogeneous materials as cement, sand, and marble dust with which he constructed austere, abstract landscapes. Later on his landscapes became populated with human images, taken from items of clothing: shirts, jackets, blue jeans, eveningwear, wedding dresses, socks, shoes, ties, and gloves. This interest of his for the symbolism and social function of clothing was equally important in his performances and installations. Through the manipulation of clothes - wrinkled, torn, burnt, twisted - Eielson discovered the great energy and beauty of knots. He exhibited his "Quipus" for the first time at the 1964 Venice Biennale; on this occasion Alfred Barr, director of the New York Museum of Modern Art, and Nelson Rockefeller bought two works still present in the museum's collection.

In the following years he took part in such important shows as "Modern painting in Latin America" (MoMA), and accepted various invitations to the Salon des Comparaisons in Paris. In 1969 he showed, in the historic exhibition "Plans and Projects as Art" in the Berne Kunsthalle, his work titled Scultura sotterranea, a series of five imaginary and unrealisable objects to be buried in five different cities that he frequented (Paris, Rome, New York, Eningen, and Lima). Other projects followed: an underground ballet in the moving carriages of the Paris metro; his performance Nage in the Parisian countryside; his Concerto della Pace at Documenta 5, Kassel; the performance Elcuerpo de Giulia-no, based on his novel of the same name, at the 1972 Venice Biennale; the performance Grande Quipus delle Nazioni during the Munich Olympics in the same year; the performance Paracas-Pyramid, first in the Studio Maddalena Carioni, Milan, in 1972, and then in the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf. With his knots Eielson arrived at a genuine cultural, sculptural, magical, and symbolic synthesis. Knots for him were a graphic mark, an aesthetic basis, and a nucleus of colour. And it was the point of union between the pre-Columbian past of his country, and the historical and artistic present. Eielson's knots were the meeting point for various expressive codes, from painting to canvases, objects, poetry, as well as the two areas of material and metaphysical research. From this sprang the infinite variations of the knots themselves that exerted multiple tensions to create dynamic spaces; at other times, in place of the knots with their various tensions, strips of twisted fabric made their appearance; at times these were flags, at other clothes that could be presented as three-dimensional sculptural objects, freed from any kind of surface or stretcher. His activity in the field of the visual arts followed with shows in the Museo de Arte Moderna, Mexico City, 1979; the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, 1986; the III Bienal de Trujillo, Perù, 1987; and in the Centro Cultural de la Municipalidad de Miraflores, Lima, and the Venice Biennale in 1988.

In 1990 he held a solo show in the Latin American Institute in Rome, which marked his return to artistic activity in Italy and put an end - perhaps - to the geographical and cultural nomadism that had enriched and diversified his expressive modes, but that had also created some incomprehension both in the field of literature and in that of art. In 1993, the gallery of Credito Valtellinese, Milan, organised an important show, which was then followed by a solo show at the Museum of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1994. In 2003 Jorge Eielson was engaged in an exhibition project, accompanied by a substantial monograph, organised by the Galleria Niccoli, Parma, in collaboration with Il Chiostro Arte Contemporanea in Saronno.

Jorge Eielson died in Milan in 2006.

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exhibitions

2016

Milano, MAAB Gallery

Miami, KA.BE Contemporary Art

 

2014

Firenze, Robert F. Kennedy Center

Lima, Galería Enlace Arte Contemporaneo

 

2013

Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi

 

2012

Firenze, Centro Studi Eielson

 

2008

Firenze, Palazzo Vecchio, Dala d’Arme

 

2007

Saronno, Il Chiostro Arte Contemporanea

Venezia, LV Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte

 

2005

Lima, Galería German Kruger Espantoso ICPNA,

 

2003

Parma, Galleria d’Arte Niccoli

 

2002

Sondrio, Palazzo Pretorio

 

2000

Torino, Galleria Biasutti&Biasutti

 

1998

Milano, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte

Milano, Galleria Silvano Lodi Jr.

Finale Ligure, Valente Arte Contemporanea

Palazzolo S/O, Studio F22 Modern Art Gallery

 

1997

Carmagnola, Palazzo Lomellini

 

1995

Bergamo, Galleria Elleni

Palazzolo S/O, Studio F22 Modern Art Gallery

 

1994

Helsinki, Finnish Museum of Art and Design

 

1993

Milano, Galleria Credito Valtellinese

Saronno, Il Chiostro Arte Contemporanea

 

1992

Bergamo, Galleria Fumagalli

Lecco, Galleria Melesi

Como, Lurate Caccivio, Galleria Nuovo Spazio

Palazzolo S/O, Studio F22 Modern Art Gallery

 

1991

Saronno, Il Chiostro arte contemporanea

 

1990

Roma, Istituto Italo – Latinoamericano, E.U.R.

 

1986

Caracas, Museo de Bellas Artes

 

1979

Città del Messico, Museo de Arte Moderno

 

1978

Lima, Galería 9

 

1977

Caracas, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo

Caracas, Galleria Adler – Castillo

Lima, Galleria Enrique Camino Brent

 

1976

Milano, Galleria Vismara

 

1974

Bologna, Galleria Pellegrino

 

1973

Milano, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte

 

1972

Parigi, Galerie Arditti

Venezia, XXXVI Biennale Internazionale d’Arte

Bergamo, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte

Milano, Studio Maddalena Carioni

 

1967

Lima, Galería Moncloa

 

1966

Milano, Galleria Rizzato-Whitworth

 

1963

 Milano, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte

 

1953

Roma, Galleria L’Obelisco

 

1949

Parigi, Galerie Colette Allendy

 

1948

Lima, Galería de Lima

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