NEW/NOW: Pablo Helguera

Untitled (Illustration for "Ocotzinalli")
Pablo Helguera, Untitled (Illustration for "Ocotzinalli"), 2019, Collage on paper, Courtesy of the Artist


NEW/NOW: Pablo Helguera

Mary & George W. Cheney, Jr. Gallery

This April, the New Britain Museum of American Art presents the work of Pablo Helguera as part of the Museum’s NEW/NOW series featuring contemporary artists. Drawing upon Helguera’s passion for history and literature, this multi-disciplinary project, titled “Amazing Stories,” focuses on visual and literary storytelling and will be presented as an art exhibition and a related artist’s book.

The title of Helguera’s exhibition is borrowed from a pulp fiction series featured in the NBMAA’s extensive collection of Pulp Art illustration, the largest in the nation. On the occasion of his exhibition, Helguera will create his own illustrated collection of three short stories, involving time and intercultural travel to explore life in and beyond New Britain. Helguera’s stories will take inspiration from the permanent collection of the NBMAA, the social and cultural history of Greater New Britain, as well as the artist’s experience as an immigrant. Intertwining fact and fiction, these narratives will explore cultural difference and life in America today from diverse, surprising, and humorous perspectives. Helguera’s accompanying exhibition will feature the artist’s original illustrations, installed together with objects and artworks that inspired his stories. In the summer of 2019, Helguera will work with Hartford Art School’s Multidisciplinary MFA Program, guiding students to explore the NBMAA’s collection to construct their own visual and literary stories that will then be incorporated in the artist’s installation.

Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art, and performance. Helguera has exhibited or performed at venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the 8th Havana Biennal; PERFORMA 05, New York; MoMA P.S.1, New York; Brooklyn Museum; Manifesta 11, Germany; and MALBA museum, Buenos Aires. He has received a Creative Capital Grant, a Blade of Grass Fellowship, and Franklin Furnace and Art Matters grants. He holds a PhS from Kingston University, London, and an honorary PhD from the Kansas Art Institute. Since 2007, Helguera has served as the Director of Adult and Academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has organized more than 1000 public events in conjunction with nearly 100 exhibitions.