$10

Roots of Peace: Carlos Páez Vilaró mural tours

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AMA | Art Museum of the Americas

201 18th Street, NW

Washington, 20006

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Also available: curator-led guided tours of Museum: A Haunted Medium on August 5 and September 30 at 12noon. Click here for details.

The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas and the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the OAS present Roots of Peace: Carlos Páez Vilaró Works and Writings, a retrospective exhibition of Uruguayan abstract artist, painter, potter, sculptor, muralist, writer, composer and architect Carlos Páez Vilaró (Montevideo, 1 November 1923 – Punta Ballena, 24 February 2014). The exhibition includes art objects, archival materials, and insights into the history of the Roots of Peace mural, painted in 1960, and restored in 2001-2002.

Roots of Peace, painted in 1960, was conceived in ten large tonal areas, without clear demarcation, suggesting the spiritual unity that bonds the peoples of the Americas without suppressing unique differences. The mural is a graphic statement of a Pan American program ensuring continental peace and harmony throughout the Western Hemisphere. The aim to achieve the fruits of peace is repeatedly symbolized by the image of a fish, the dominant note in the mural. Spanning more than 530 feet, Roots of Peace is one of the longest murals in the world. It was restored by Spanish artist Roberto Arce between 2001 and 2002, who recovered the lines and colors of the work that had been repainted by Páez Vilaró in 1975. Mr. Arce has again been commissioned to restore the mural to its original brilliance, in 2019.

Páez Vilaró was invited to exhibit some of his work by the Director of the Modern Art Museum of Paris, Jean Cassou, in 1956. In that same year he traveled to Dakar, Senegal to continue his research on African aesthetics that he has already initiated in Brazil. He remained active in European and African culture throughout most of his life. He continued to create murals and sculptures for various government offices, corporate headquarters, private homes, and other buildings. Casapueblo, a building near Punta del Este, is one of his best-known creations. He remained close with numerous friends from his days in Paris in the late 1950s, particularly Brigitte Bardot and Pablo Picasso, and in 1967, established Dahlia, a film production company with the help of European industrialists Gerard Leclery and Gunther Sachs. He traveled in numerous West African nations to make a documentary, Batouk, with director Jean-Jacques Manigot and poet Aimé Césaire. He created murals in Argentina, Brazil, Chad, Chile, Gabon, the United States, and in his native Uruguay, as well as a scattering of works elsewhere in Africa and in the Polynesian islands. He also designed a non-denominational chapel in Buenos Aires; he considered the San Isidro chapel his greatest work. In his last years the artist divided his time between Casapueblo and Bengala, his Tigre residence. Páez Vilaró died on February 24, 2014 at the age of 90 at his home Casapueblo, in Punta Ballena, Maldonado, Uruguay.

The AMA serves as the principal instrument of cultural diplomacy of the OAS. AMA’s mission is founded on the notion that the arts are transformative for individuals and communities. This guiding principle promotes the core values of the OAS by providing a space for cultural expression, creativity, innovation, dialog, and learning, while highlighting themes such as democracy, development, human rights, justice, freedom of expression, and innovation. AMA’s work draws on contemporary art to showcase a constructive vision of the future of the Americas via local and hemispheric cultural exchange.

*Please note that the tour involves walking and standing for approximately an hour. Bring comfortable shoes!

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Washington, 20006

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