Alfredo Jaar

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Alfredo Jaar
Alfredo Jaar (cropped).jpg
Born 1956 (age 61–62)
Santiago de Chile, Chile
Nationality Chilean
Known for Conceptual art, Installation art
Awards National Prize for Plastic Arts (2013)

Alfredo Jaar (born 1956) is a Chilean-born artist, architect, and filmmaker who lives in New York City. He was born in 1956 in Santiago de Chile. From age 5 to 16, he lived in Martinique before moving back to Chile.[1] He is mostly known as an installation artist, often incorporating photography and covering socio-political issues and war - the best known perhaps being the 6-year-long The Rwanda Project about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He has also made numerous public intervention works, like The Skoghall Konsthall one-day paper museum in Sweden, an early electronic billboard intervention A Logo For America, and The Cloud, a performance project on both sides of the Mexico-USA border. He has been featured on Art:21.[2]


The art of Alfredo Jaar is usually politically motivated, strategies of representation of real events, the faces of war or the globalized world, and sometimes with a certain level of viewer participation (in the case of many public interventions and performances).

"There's this huge gap between reality and its possible representations. And that gap is impossible to close. So as artists, we must try different strategies for representation. [...] [A] process of identification is fundamental to create empathy, to create solidarity, to create intellectual involvement."[3]


His work has been shown extensively around the world, notably in the Biennales of Venice (1986, 2007), São Paulo (1987, 1989, 2010), Istanbul (1995), Kwangju (1995, 2000), Johannesburg (1997), and Seville (2006). His work, Park of the Laments, was part of the 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park which opened in 2010 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.[4] For the "Revolution vs Revolution" exhibition held at the Beirut Art Center, he produced a new version of his photographic project 1968.[5]

Important individual exhibitions include the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992); Whitechapel Gallery, London (1992); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1992); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (1994); Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (2005); Fundación Telefónica, Santiago (2006); Musée des Beaux Arts, Lausanne (2007); the South London Gallery in 2008.[6][7]; and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield UK (2018)[8].

Jaar represented Chile at the 2013 Venice Biennale.[9]

Jaar is represented by Kamel Mennour in Paris, Galerie Lelong, New York and Lia Rumma Gallery in Italy.[citation needed]


Jaar became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. He was also a 2006 recipient of Spain's Premio Extremadura a la Creación.

In 2010, Jaar was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New School [10].

Jaar received Chile's National Prize for Plastic Arts in 2013.[11]


Alfredo's son Nicolas Jaar is a musician and composer.



  • Alfredo Jaar, Lorenzo Fusi, TAC Collection, Exòrma Ed., Italian/English, May 2012
  • Stefan Jonsson, 1989: Alfredo Jaar, They Loved It So Much, the Revolution, in A brief history of the masses: three revolutions, New York: Columbia University Press, 2008, pp. 119 ff.
  • Jaar, Alfredo, Mary J. Jacob, and Nancy Princenthal. Alfredo Jaar: The Fire This Time : Public Interventions 1979-2005. Milano: Charta, 2005. Print.
  • Jaar, Alfredo, and Willie A. Drake. Alfredo Jaar: Geography=war. Richmond, VA: Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1991. Print.
  • Jaar, Alfredo. Let There Be Light: The Rwanda Project 1994 – 1998, Barcelona: Actar, 1998. Print.
  • Solomon-Godeau, Abigail. ‘Lament of the Images: Alfredo Jaar and the Ethics of Representation’ in Aperture, Issue 181, pp 36-48

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