Ernesto Aroztegui: revered and remembered

Reproducciones Ernesto Aroztegui Montevideo UruguaySome years back, a woman from New York City contacted me with the news that she was about to sell a tapestry by the renowned Uruguayan artist, Ernesto Aroztegui, and she wanted me to pass along the offer to people in South America before she would sell it on eBay (photo not shown here).10303173_10204157201585658_5439365526444325915_n

The incident was regrettable since the woman’s photographs showed that the valuable tapestry was used as a floor mat or rug and was photographed over the driveway’s concrete floor. That fact made some of Aroztegui’s fans cringe from disgust, along with the obvious sadness not to be able to acquire it and donate it to a museum.

It is unfortunate that some people may view art as a purely utilitarian object, but I hope that whoever owns the tapestry in question will understand its value not only in terms of dollars and cents, but as part of the legacy of a talented and prolific weaver and teacher, recognized worldwide.

                      Many of Aroztegui’s students still revere and remember him.

Reproducción Ernesto Arostegui  Montevideo Uruguay

Ernesto Aroztegui. Double portrait of Sigmund Freud.

Born in the city of Melo, Uruguay in 1930, in his twenties he developed a profound relationship with theatre and important theatrical personages, but his passion for contemporary tapestry occurred almost simultaneously. It didn’t take long for him to dedicate himself—almost exclusively—to weaving and teaching this technique in various cities in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, winning prizes and distinctions along the way. He represented Uruguay in the 62nd Venice Biennale in 1986.

Exhibit opening at Subte Montevideo, Uruguay

Exhibit opening at Subte Montevideo, Uruguay

Thanks to the eBay tapestry incident, I stumbled upon a secret group on Facebook, where I followed the detailed preparations for a retrospective exhibit and printing of a book—a project led by curator Jorge Francisco Soto, with contributions made by friends and students.

10649755_10204157201185648_5028024272273444913_n And wonderful students he did have! From 1987 to 1993, Aroztegui founded a plastic arts workshop at the National School of Fine Arts (ENBA) in Montevideo, where he formed great tapestry artists.

Soto launched his two-year project with an incredible retrospective exhibition—held in Montevideo—followed by the presentation of the book, and a video.This project was awarded the 2013 prize by the Cultural Incentive Fund (Fondos de Incentivo Cultural), a governmental institution that promotes sponsorships by giving sponsors fiscal benefits.

invitación ERNESTO AROZTEGUI libro_f

December 12, 2014 at 9:00 am was the moment we had waited for, when the book Ernesto Aroztegui 1930-1994 was presented to enthusiasts and collectors. This 416 page edition comprises his works, teaching method, and theatrical activity. Texts, photographs, documents, critiques, and interviews retell his trajectory and the creation of a textile movement in Uruguay and surrounding areas during the 1960’s, in addition to the following development to date.

The video, “The back side of weft” (El revés de la trama) was also presented. It’s a 33 minute documentary directed by Fabián Marros and Mónica Talamás, and produced by Dina Yael for ANTEL’s digital channel Vera+ about the life and work of the artist.


The “Theater of Always”: Main Venue of the 7th Biennial in Uruguay

As of June 18th, 2016 Teatro Solís—the 160 year-old theater—is presenting an anniversary show in its PhotoGallery: A graphic retrospective of the patrimony of all Uruguayans.

teatro solís

Inaugurated in 1856, this stately landmark has treasured the artistic and cultural life of Montevideo, incorporating new forms and languages along the way, and developing audiences.

With the founding of its CIDDAE Center for Research, Documentation & Presentation of Scenic Arts, the Solís becomes an important asset in the field, with preservation, protection, and communication as important goals. However, it is important to remember that alongside theory, Teatro Solís has state-of-the-art technology, and offers a fantastic opportunity in the arts as well as quite an experience for the public.

In October 2017, the 7th WTA Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art will take place mainly at the Teatro Solís. Numerous other venues will participate during this event, but the Solís will house the main shows.

The Small Format Textile Art Salon as well as the Photography With Textile Theme Salon will take place at the Exposition Hall at Teatro Solís, and all works will approach the scenic/performing arts theme—contemplating theatre (puppets, circus, clown, street theatre, cabaret, recital, concert,) carnival and/or any endeavor related to those arts.

Also, due to the variety of expression mediums to which artists have access nowadays, the 7th WTA International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art looks to broaden the field of participation by proposing as a challenge, to venture into electronic mediums by way of an art video or “VideoArt,” making reference to textiles in any of its possibilities.

A Large Format competition will also be presented.


More information:


7th International WTA Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art


Large Format Textile Art “Folding-Unfolding”

(Arte Textil de Gran Formato “Plegable-Desplegable”)

Maximum= 100 X 280 cm   |   Minimum= 50 X 150 cm

Maximum measurements for tridimensional work: 280 cm (height) x 100 cm (width) x 80 cm (depth), and minimum: 150 cm (height) x 50 cm (width) x 50 cm (depth).

Maximum weight for works delivered in person: 20 Kilos.

Maximum weight for works sent by mail: 10 Kilos.

7th WTA International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art: DIVERSITY

WTA logoI’m honored to have been appointed Costa Rica Rep before World Textile Art( WTA), and I can also answer questions if you have any.

7th WTA International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art: “DIVERSITY” Uruguay 2017.

Note: At biennial level, the last two exhibitions are pioneers.

Small Format:

Large Format:

Textile Photography:

Textile VideoArt:


Ritmo, Color  Transparencia triptico 3Cochabamba, Bolivia. — Simón I. Patiño Foundation is presenting a comprehensive exhibit by Uruguay-born artist, Beatriz Oggero until October 26, 2014.  The elegant venue, Portales Palace Exhibition Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia where this event is taking place, currently displays a beautiful garden outdoors, and a garden of colorful and delicate textile works inside. Ritmo, Color  Transparencia 001


Beatriz was director of CETU Textile Center in Uruguay, and has had multiple exhibitions in many countries. She studied weaving with Maestro Ernesto Aroztegui in Montevideo, and later started working in sprang and tricot technique on her own. Says she:

“…For a contemporary textile artist, sometimes it’s difficult to show our work solo due to the time it takes to stage it. Therefore, we end up participating in collective shows. 

Ritmo, Color  Transparencia triptico 4One of my works, ‘Color Transparencies,’ was selected to participate in the 6th WTA Biennial: AIR 2011 in Mexico. Now I changed its name, because since then it has grown width and lengthwise in shadows and colors… —Beatriz Oggero.”

Ritmo, Color  Transparencia


Palacio Portales Exhibition Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Palacio Portales Exhibition Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia


Image  THE VENUE: The Chapel for Susana Soca in the town of Soca, Department of Canelones, Uruguay.

Lost somewhere in the countryside, almost unknown, without being consecrated either by the Catholic Church or as patrimony, lies one of the jewels of Uruguay: the tiny chapel built by Catalan urbanist and architect, Antoni Bonet in memory of writer Susana Soca (1906-1959), who died in an accident at the age of 53, and never married.

The chapel was inaugurated in the late 1960’s and was abandoned for decades.   Image


THE CURATOR: Jorge Francisco Soto.

THE ARTIST: Alejandra González Soca.

THE DATE: International Woman’s Day, March 8th, and March 9th, 2014.


THE INSTALLATION: More than 40 wedding dresses for this site-specific work by Alejandra González Soca. 





Textile Journeys In Uruguay – Travesías Textiles en el Uruguay

The success of World Textile Art (WTA) exhibit, “Textile Journeys” in Uruguay includes very interesting side exhibitions such as “Inclusive Nets” (Redes Inclusivas) in the city of Maldonado.

Travesías Textiles

We had already enjoyed the presence of artist Humberto Demarco in the 4th WTA Biennial in San José, Costa Rica. Demarco, who offered a sensorial art workshop for the blind in 2006 here in Costa Rica, is now offering “Inclusive Nets” workshops in Uruguay, where sight and motor incapacitation victims can learn to weave.

Congratulations to WTA President, Ms. Pilar Tobón, and all artists involved in this very special exhibition.

—Silvia Piza-Tandlich