Bio

Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art and performance. Helguera’s work focuses in a variety of topics ranging from history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, memory and the absurd, in formats that are widely varied including the lecture, museum display strategies, musical performances and written fiction.

His work as an educator has usually 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 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. Covering almost 20,000 miles, it is considered one of the most extensive public art projects on record as well as a pioneering work for the new generation of artworks regarded under the area of socially engaged art.

Pablo Helguera performed individually at the Museum of Modern Art /Gramercy Theater, in 2003, where he showed his work “Parallel Lives”. His musical composition, “Endingness” has been performed  by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Helguera has exhibited or performed at venues such as the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; ICA Boston;  RCA London; 8th Havana Biennal, PERFORMA 05, Havana; Shedhalle, Zurich; MoMA P.S.1, 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, amongst many others. His work has been reviewed in  Art in America, Artforum, The New York Times, ArtNews, amongst others. In 2008 he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and also was the recipient of a 2005 Creative Capital Grant. In 2011 he was named winner of the International Award of Participatory Art of the Region Emilia-Romagna in Italy. He has also received the Franklin Furnace and Art Matters grants.

Helguera has worked since 1991  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). Since 2007, he is Director of Adult and Academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has organized close to 1000 public events in conjunction with nearly 100 exhibitions. In 2010 he was appointed pedagogical curator of the 8th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which took place in September, 2011. He is currently Senior Resident of Location One in New York. He presented a solo exhibition at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City in 2012.

He is represented  by Kent Fine Art in New York and Enrique Guerrero Gallery in Mexico City.

He is the author of  the following 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), (historical fiction, 2007)

The Boy Inside the Letter (novel, 2008)

Theatrum Anatomicum ( and other performance lectures) (anthology of performance texts, 2008)

The Juvenal Players (play, 2009)

Artoons 1, 2, and 3 ( 2009-10), a collection of cartoons about the Art World

What in the World(2010), a miscellany of curatorial stories around the history of the Penn Museum

Urÿonstelaii (fiction, 2010)

Estela y las Hojas (children’s book, 2010)

The School of Panamerican Unrest (an antology of Documents) [with Sarah DeMeuse], 2011

Education for Socially Engaged Art, 2011

Art Scenes: The Social Scripts of the Art World, 2012

Onda Corta, 2012

Artunes, 2012

Reference
The School of Panamerican Unrest
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Interview with Pablo Helguera – Art Slant
The School of Panamerican Unrest – Wikipedia
The School of Panamerican Unrest – Creative Capital
Portrait of the Awkward Artist – In These Times

Universes-in-Universe

Miscellaneous Distinctions/ Awards

International Award of Participatory Art, Bologna, 2011

Keynote Speaker, SECAC conference, Richmond, VA, 2010

John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, 2008
Creative Capital Foundation Grant, 2006
Wheeler Foundation Grant, 2006
Creative Capital Foundation Grant, 2005
Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Mexico, Jovenes Creadores Grant (2004-05)
EFA Studio subsidized membership, 2000-present
Rockefeller Foundation/Fideicomiso para la Cultura Mexico/USA- 2000
Rockefeller Foundation/Fideicomiso para la Cultura Mexico/USA- 1999
Zagreb Youth Salon Award- Zagreb, Croatia, 1999
Included in the Illinois Arts Council Artstour Roster for Performing Arts (declined)
Member, Chicago Art Critics Association (1998)
City of Chicago, Community Arts Program Grant

Grant panels/jurorships

Pedagogical Curator, Mercosul Biennial, 2011

Juror, Costa Rica Biennial, San Jose, 2005
Panelist, New York State Council for the Arts, 2003-04
Juror, Mohawk-Hudson regional, 2004
Juror, Guatemala Biennial, 2004
Juror, National Contemporary Arts Competition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico, 2002
Panelist, Illinois Arts Council Arts in Education Residency Program
Graduate Critique Panelist, University of Illinois at Chicago
Graduate Critique Panelist, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Panelist, Illinois Arts Council -Multidisciplinary Arts Grant