Art in the capital

Retrospective exhibit of one of Chile's most influential artists

Juan Pablo Langlois’ drawings, publications, sculptures and videos that took two years to prepare currently on display at Santiago's Cultural Center Matucana 100. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012  
Photo courtesy of CENTRO CULTURAL MATUCANA 100 / Facebook. Photo courtesy of CENTRO CULTURAL MATUCANA 100 / Facebook.


Juan Pablo Langlois is one of the most important and influential artists in Chile's history. The exhibit, Retrospective Juan Pablo Langlois 1969-2012, brings together approximately 100 works by the artist: including drawings, publications, sculptures, and videos.


Langlois was born in Santiago in 1936 and studied architecture at the Universidad de Valparaíso. He gradually shifted to the visual arts, in the form of conceptual art. At first Langlois used simple, malleable, everyday materials such as newspaper, to create his artwork. In 1969, his Cuerpos Blandos (Soft Bodies) piece flooded the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes with a polyethylene sleeve filled with newspaper.  


The material continued to dominate his body of work in other forms including trees, cars, and people. This foray in contemporary art led him to create a series of drawings, among them mattresses, candles, bottles, and televisions.


His collection brings the viewer on a journey, from unpublished work to some of the authors most famous. When the exhibit was being developed between 2010 and 2011 much time and effort was put into how to present a clear and concise overview of the ideas and interests of Langlois.


The piece never before seen by the public is a long wall made out of newspaper that guides the viewers through the first set of works. For this piece the artist revived a project from 1965, and today, nearly fifty years later, it is on display for visitors. In the center of the work is a cabinet full of publications by the artist such as handmade catalogs dating back fifty years.


In the 90s Juan Pablo Langlois developed the concept of “Misses,” which criticized the colonial pattern of beauty imposed by Western civilization. He created a series of paintings showing women participating in beauty contests contrasted with images of indigenous women within their indigenous elements and contexts.


In 2000, Mr. Langlois shocked the art scene with Papeles Ordinarios (Ordinary Papers) creating scenes of different sexual poses out of newspaper. This work eventually evolved into the Papeles Sádicos (Sadist Papers), a series of videos using stop motion to bring life to the figures.


Other works being presented in the exhibit include: Elige tu Vida Mía (Choose your sweetheart), La Carta de la Viuda (The Letter of the Widow), Colchón Sentimental (Sentimental Mattress), Miss Universal Destiny, and Escenas de Caza (Hunting scenes).


The exhibit was inaugurated on November 6 and will be on display until January 27 of next year, from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at Centro Cultural Matucana 100.


Admission is the favorite price of the masses: $0.00.


Written by Michael Dash

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