The Famed and Forgotten Works of Uruguay’s Modernists
Uruguay’s architecture scene has long taken the backseat to those of its more popular neighbours. Brazil, to the north, has a modernist history that rivals (if not shades) that of its European peers; Chile, to the west, boasts an innovative climate for architecture unparalleled in the world today.
With friends like these, it’s perhaps no surprise that Uruguay is a bit overshadowed. But two exhibitions running currently alongside the London Design Festival seek to bring much-deserved attention to the oft-forgotten works of Uruguay’s modernists.
In Uruguay, A Natural Collective, showing at the Designjunction fair from 20-23 September, and Hilos Invisibles (Invisible Threads) at The Aram Gallery from 17 September to 27 October, the country’s artistic and artisanal approach is on display. Among the items on display are a collection of nine limited edition furniture and lighting pieces developed by Matteo Fogale, themselves inspired by sketches by Julio Vilamajó (1894-1948)—one of the Uruguay’s most beloved (yet internationally unknown) architects. Small steps towards uncovering a rich history, but it’s without doubt the start of an exciting rediscovery.