Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, and performance. Considering the relationship between history, cultural production and language, Helguera fictionalizes the real, generating commentary and discussion about our surrounding cultural reality and relationship to time. His work often adopts the format of the lecture, museum display strategies, musical performances and written fiction.
His work as an educator intersected his interest as an artist, making his work often reflects on issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality. This intersection is best exemplified in his current project, “The School of Panamerican Unrest”, a nomadic think-tank that physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, making 40 stops in between.
Helguera’s work is part of the permanent collection of El Museo del Barrio, New York, an institution where he has presented a variety of projects through the years.
Pablo Helguera performed individually at the Museum of Modern Art/Gramercy Theater, in 2003, where he showed his work “Parallel Lives”. His first musical composition, “Endingness” was performed in New York by the Mexican-American Orchestra. Helguera has exhibited or performed at venues such as the Royal College of Art, London; 8th Havana Biennal, PERFORMA 05, Havana; Shedhalle, Zurich; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Brooklyn Museum; IFA Galerie, Bonn; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo; MALBA museum in Buenos Aires, Ex-Teresa Espacio Alternativo in Mexico City, The Bronx Museum, Artist Space, and Sculpture Center. His work has been reviewed in Tema Celeste, Art in America, Artforum, NY Arts Magazine, ArtNews, amongst others. In 2008 he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and also was the recipient of a 2005 Creative Capital Grant.
Helguera worked for fifteen years in a variety of contemporary art museums, most recently as head of public programs at the Education department of the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1998-2005), where he organized close to 500 public events and worked in the development of nearly 30 exhibitions. Since 2007, he is Director of Adult and Academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
He is the author of five books: Endingness (2005), an essay on the art of memory; The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style (2005; Spanish edition; 2007, English edition), a social etiquette manual for the art world; The Witches of Tepoztlán (and other Unpublished Operas), (2007), the novel The Boy Inside the Letter (2008) and Artoons (2009). Books of upcoming publication include Theatrum Anatomicum ( and other performance lectures) and The Rhetoric of Contemporary Art.