° Argentina 1972

lives and works in Buenos Aires — Argentinia


Amadeo Azar participated at Coup de Ville 2016. This text was published in the catalogue.


The visual language of progress often remains limited to a concept in the development phase. The most remarkable thing, however, is that many of these utopian projects offer no outdated or outmoded impressions but continue to stimulate the imagination. The Argentinian artist Amadeo Azar remains faithful to this tradition with his drawings, water colours and scale models. In ‘La ville idéale de Chaux’ by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, ‘Le Phalanstère’ by Charles Fourier, the ideas of the Russian avant- garde, ‘New Babylon’ by Constant and many players from our time, the ambition to anticipate the future is exuberant.


Nevertheless, many of Azar’s designs are directly inspired by the characteristic slaughter houses of the thirties. Another source is the glamorous architecture of S. Charles Lee, who built more than 250 cinemas in California in the period between the two world wars. With their outward fussiness, pseudo-luxurious materials and their impressive size, they were viewed as both attractive and imposing.


If the excessive figuration of this kind of architecture is removed, the designs that fit the image of the utopian dream can be seen once more. They sometimes look like stone spaceships or as yet undiscovered designs by El Lissitsky, one of the pioneers of 20th-century abstract art. According to Azar himself, he wants to use modernity as a catapult, as a starting point for the discovery of new worlds. The artist explores the triumphs and failures of megalomaniac or utopian buildings with irony and humour. He removes from them the glow of nostalgia and brings them closer to the imperfections of our society. He works in a precise and linear manner with watercolours on different surfaces. When working with existing pictures he disrupts their harmony by the addition of strips of gold leaf or fluorescent sheets of colour. The pleasure of simply developing shapes is shown in the different scale models that Amadeo Azar has interact with his work on paper, resulting in an impressive mise-en-scène.