Alfredo Jaar

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Alfredo Jaar
Born1956 (age 63–64)
Known forConceptual art, Installation art
AwardsNational Prize for Plastic Arts (2013)

Alfredo Jaar 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.[10][11][12]


Jaar became a Guggenheim Fellow in 1985 and a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. In 2018 he received the Hiroshima Art Prize.

Jaar has been the recipient of many Honorary Doctorates, including the University of Wolverhampton, UK, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, USA, The New School, New York, USA, SUNY, State University of New York, USA, IDSVA, Institute for Doctorial Studies in the Visual Arts, New York, USA, Accademia di Belle Arti, Macerata, ITALY, and Universidad de Talca, Chile.

Jaar received Chile's National Prize for Plastic Arts (Chile) in 2013.[13]


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


  1. ^ "Alfredo Jaar in Conversation". Brooklyn Rail. April 2009.
  2. ^ "ART21 - PBS Programs - PBS".
  3. ^ "The Silence of Nduwayezu presentation".
  4. ^ "The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres - Indianapolis Museum of Art".
  5. ^ "Revolution vs Revolution". Beirut Art Center. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Alfredo Jaar, personal website - biography".
  7. ^ "South London Gallery: Politics of the Image".
  8. ^ "Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil".
  9. ^ on, Enrico. "VernissageTV Art TV - Alfredo Jaar: Venezia, Venezia / Pavilion of Chile at Venice Biennale 2013".
  10. ^ "Works and projects - Alfredo Jaar - Artists - galerie kamel mennour, 75006 Paris". Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  11. ^ "Alfredo Jaar - Artists - Galerie Lelong". Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  12. ^ "Alfredo Jaar". Liarumma (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  13. ^ "Alfredo Jaar, Premio Nacional de Artes: 'En Chile constaté la tiranía de las capitales'" [Alfredo Jaar, National Prize for Arts: 'In Chile, I Observed the Tyranny of the Capitals']. La Tercera (in Spanish). 17 July 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2017.


  • 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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