Iván Navarro, Blue Electric Chair, 2004. Fluorescent light, color sleeves, metal fixtures and electric energy
Iván Navarro uses fluorescent tubes and electrical materials to create sculptural works that offer social and political commentary within an art historical context. In his works, Navarro appropriates the formal qualities of Minimalism and other avant-garde movements, such as geometric abstraction and constructivism, to speak about violence, energy and the media.
Iván Navarro, Threshold 2009. General installation view at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Works include Death Row, 2006; Bed, 2009 and Resistance, 2009
Navarro was raised in Santiago, Chile during the dictatorial regime of General Augusto Pinochet, a time of violence, torture and fear. He moved to New York in 1997 to pursue his career as an artist. His work, similar to his life, seems to oscillate between two places; the modern and the contemporary, the purely formal and the conceptual. Through appropriation, he seems to mediate and reconcile the relationship between both. For instance, the sculpture Die reformulates Tony Smith’s cube Die (1962), while Death Row references Ellsworth Kelly’s Spectrum V (1969). Other notable influences on his work are Dan Flavin and Frank Stella.
Iván Navarro, Die, 2009. Wood, neon, mirror, one way mirror and electric system
Iván Navarro was born in 1972 in Santiago, Chile. From 1991 to 1995 he studied art at the Universidad Católica de Chile, graduating with a degree in printmaking. His work has been shown at the Whitney Museum in New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; MOCA, Miami; the North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks; SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Prague Biennale 2, Prague; Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; Towner, Eastbourne; Distrito Cuatro, Madrid; Adelaide Festival, Adelaide; Museo Nacional de Arte, Lima; Centro Cultural Matucana 100 and Galería Metropolitana, Santiago. Iván Navarro was also chosen to represent Chile in the 53th Venice Biennale, 2009.
Artist bio and images via Paul Kasmin Gallery