Exhibit takes new look at everday life

The Blanton Museum of Art's first floor gallery is now home to a unique new Latin American exhibit that asks the audience to question how they normally see the world.

"The Anatomy of Melancholy" is the first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of the art of Jorge Macchi, one of Latin America's principal contemporary artists.

On view through March 16, it features more than 40 of the artist's most important works from the 1990s to the present, drawn from public and private collections in South America, Europe and the United States.

Macchi has garnered international attention for his delicate meditations on the poetics of everyday life using a variety of media and formats, from video installations to artist's books to cut out newspaper collages. His work is characterized by a somewhat melancholic air, with subjects ranging from acts of random violence to unrequited love.

Among featured works in the show are "Monoblock (Tower Block)" in which text is removed from newspaper obituaries and "Guía de la inmovilidad (Guidebook to Stillness)," a guidebook of Buenos Aires from which all of the city blocks have been removed, leaving only a skeletal remnant of a city.

"Macchi's choice of everday objects is significant," said Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, curator of the exhibit and Latin American art for the Blanton. "Through the simplest of operations, these objects undergo a process of de-familiarization to the point where the obvious becomes remarkable."

The exhibit was proposed three years ago by Perez-Barreiro and will be one of his last of the Blanton. He is leaving the museum March 31 to become director of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), an extensive and collection of art from Latin America. CPPC has collaborated with the Blanton for many years.

"The past five years at the Blanton have been invaluable and memorable. The field of Latin American art is developing at breakneck speed and I'm sure the Blanton will continue to be a leader in the academic and public understanding of art from Latin America."

For more information on the "The Anatomy of Melancholy" go to http://blantonmuseum.org.