The importance of Marcos Kurtycz’s artistic project

The importance of Marcos Kurtycz as a pioneer in both performance and graphic arts is still poorly understood. Marcos Kurtycz was to a large extent a self-made artist, driving his art project ahead against the stream of his upbringing and formal training, and against the stream of the art establishment in Mexico and abroad. He ably combined a large array of materials and instruments transformed into installations and performances, including graphic design, painting, book making, stamps, the human body, the axe, fire and explosives. He explored crossovers between these techniques to turn them into a language of expression and into ‘artefacts’.

g11.la.softwars4.4.88.5His graphic work remains a solid foundation for all his undertakings, returning in many different ways, but often as books and prints. During his lifetime, he could hardly live of his art, and his projects were often “generous”. He did not expect them to be sold in any way. Like with his mail art, all of it was sent to friends and enemies alike against the price of a postal stamp (which he paid from his pocket), and many of his works were meant to be given away from the start.

g13.la.Artefacto.24.11.1982.4A first retrospective of Kurtycz’s work was organised in 1999 in the Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico-City based on a first selection of works. Loose objects have been included in several exhibitions in recent years, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Reina Sofia (Madrid) and the Fondation Cartier (Paris). However, a comprehensive cataloguing and analysis of his work has not yet been undertaken.

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