Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry is the first contemporary art museum in Uruguay
Uruguay welcomes MACA, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry by architect Carlos Ott
The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry (MACA), Uruguay’s new contemporary art venue, has just opened its doors to the public. The main cultural destination, run by the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation, the Miami-based nonprofit institution of the Uruguayan sculptor, was designed by renowned Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott. The new program, located in Punta del Este, is the “first and only museum in Uruguay to promote global contemporary art”, say its representatives.
The building unfurls like a dynamic wave or the prow of a ship, a curvaceous structure that almost seems to move across its landscaped terrain. It’s wrapped in glass and aluminum clad enclosures that glisten in the sunlight, and an aluminum roof supported by an impressive wood-frame construction, made of Red Grandis eucalyptus. The rapid curves of the wooden elements cleverly allow for column-free interiors and large rooms that can be flexible and accommodate exhibits of varying scales.
Set in a sprawling park, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry has opened with new works by Atchugarry himself, but also a temporary exhibition of works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude – whom the sculptor greatly admires. There are also exhibitions with works from the permanent collection, by artists such as Richard Anuszkiewicz, Carmelo Arden Quin, Pablo Atchugarry, José Pedro Costigliolo, Carlos Cruz Diez, Sandú Darié, Jorge Eielson and Wifredo Lam, among many others. Exhibits are arranged in five flexible exhibition halls and a sculpture park – for outdoor art of all scopes and sizes.
“There is a common concern among artists and collectors, which is to reflect on the destination of their works, the fruit of a life, the passion that has always accompanied them”, explains Atchugarry, who led the project. “So, a few years ago, the idea of building a museum was born, within the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation itself, which is in a way the cultural heritage that I leave to Uruguay. I believe that MACA will belong to humanity and that, like a ship loaded with art, life and dreams, it will lead us to a world of greater understanding and love. The museum will be directed by director Leonardo Noguéz. §