Miguel Harte (Buenos Aires 1961) is considered one of the most important Argentine sculptors of his generation. He emerged to the public eye in the context of the artists who generated the vernacular scene that developed around the Rojas Cultural Center in the 1990s, which marked the development of Argentine contemporary art. Despite being associated with that group of artists, his work has its own characteristics that distinguish it and make it unique and not easily classified within a current.
Self-taught, he received informal mentoring from the artist Pablo Suarez, a friend of his father. His is a gaze traversed by emotionality, nourished by sources such as science fiction, B movies, the observation of nature and the inclusion of his daily and experiential environment. A key element in his practice is the exchange with the materials that in each occasion moved his imagination, usually linked to everyday aesthetics, leading him to go through a wide catalog, investigating for example both the techniques and materials of automotive painting, as well as the conservation methods used by entomologists.
Harte’s work has been characterized by viscerality, fantasy linked to biomorphism, allusions to a dislocated and mutant nature —foreseeing the problem of the distortions of the natural world nature due to human activity, an unavoidable issue today— which at times pushes it towards the abject or monstrous. At the same time, he has stood out for the refinement of the materiality of his objects, achieved through his impeccable technical skill.
In an essay on Harte’s work, curator Nancy Rojas points out that in the history of art the monstrous “takes shape in the fissure of the stories, in the transitions, in the precarious gaps” and adds that “…Harte’s impetus disposes us to submit ourselves to interpret irregularity…to enter into kinship with it, to become compatible with the repulsive in order to agree on other forms of imagination…”
Miguel Harte has received many art awards in Argentina, including the Bicentennial Grand Prize, the Platinum Konex Award 2012; the First Prize Andreani Foundation 2011; the First Prize Klemm Foundation 2008; First Prize Sculpture, Fortabat Award; Artist of the Year, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, 1999 and the Baron de Ramefort Award, “To the Most Promising Young Artist of 1990”. He has had numerous solo exhibitions, among them at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Bogotá, MAC in 1986, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires in 2003 and the recent anthological exhibition at the Museo Colección Amalia de Fortabat in 2022.
His works are in the collections of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Castagnino-MACRO, Rosario, Colección Fortabat and Blanton Museum, TX, USA, among others.
13 de octubre 2008
EL ARTE DE HARTE REFLEXIONA SOBRE LA ESTETICA DE LOS 90S
Ana Martínez Quijano