Public Art of the University of Houston System to Unveil New Temporary Installation by Jorge Pardo

by Jessica Fuentes October 5, 2022

Later this month, Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS), a multi-campus arts organization, will unveil its new temporary installation, Folly, by Mexico-based Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo.

A headshot of artist Jorge Pardo. He wears a white button-up shirt with khakis as he sits on a red couch with red curtains behind it.

Jorge Pardo. Photo courtesy Public Art University of Houston System.

This installation is the third piece of Public Art UHS’s temporary public art program. It is also the second completed Grove Commission, which is a series of commissions by international artists that supports and seeks to expand their work, both in range and scale. The first commission, Mobius Houston by New York-based Uruguayan artist Marta Chilindron, was on view from October 2019 through July 2020. Pakistani American artist Shazhia Sikander, who recently had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, has been commissioned for a 2023 installation.

A photograph of the exterior of Jorge Pardo's temporary public art work, "Folly." The piecec resembles a plain white building.

Jorge Pardo, “Folly,” 2022.

Mr. Pardo’s installation is inspired by a garden folly, a nonessential building placed in a garden for decorative purposes. While the exterior of the work gives off the appearance of a simple, white building, inside the space is transformed with colorful floor-to-ceiling handpainted wall panels and whimsical hanging sculptures.

A photograph of the interior of a public art work by Jorge Pardo. The inside of this building is filled with colorful patterned paintings on the wall and has three vibrant and whimsical sculptures hanging from the ceiling.

Jorge Pardo, “Folly,” 2022.

This installation exemplifies Mr. Pardo’s artistic practice, which often uses vibrant colors and eclectic patterns to transform everyday objects into works of art. His work has been exhibited at institutions across the world, including Pinacoteca de Estado São Paulo (2019); Hacienda la Rojeña, Tequila, Mexico (2019); Victoria Miro, London (2018); and Petzel, New York (2017). Mr. Pardo’s work is held in various collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Folly opens to the public on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, and will be on view through 2023. Public Art UHS will host an array of programs around the piece, including an opening reception, an artist talk by Mr. Pardo, and a tour with María C. Gaztambide, the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Public Art UHS. Read more about the events below via descriptions provided by Public Art UHS. To RSVP for the following programs, visit Public Art UHS’ website.

Folly Public Opening and “Housewarming”
Wednesday, October 19, 4 to 6 p.m.
Wilhelmina’s Grove, adjacent to Moores Opera House, 3333 Cullen Blvd.

Join Public Art UHS and artist Jorge Pardo for a “Housewarming” event marking the official opening of Folly. Meet the artist, explore the pavilion-like installation, and enjoy live music, light bites, and refreshments. Public Art UHS unveils Folly by Jorge Pardo

Liminal: A Conversation with Jorge Pardo
Thursday, October 20, 5 to 6 p.m.
Dudley Recital Hall, 4173 Elgin Street, 1st Floor of the UH Fine Arts Building

Artist Jorge Pardo in conversation with María C. Gaztambide, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Public Art UHS, and Roberto Tejada, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor at the University of Houston. The talk will focus on Pardo’s examination of life in between cultures, as well as his creative process that merges art and life, form and function, and ornament and utility.

Friday Focus Tour with María Gaztambide
Friday, October 21, 12 to 1 p.m.
Wilhelmina’s Grove, adjacent to Moores Opera House, 3333 Cullen Blvd.

María C. Gaztambide, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Public Art UHS, will offer an in-depth look inside Folly. The tour will reveal how Jorge Pardo’s most ambitious large-scale installation to date explores the intersection of contemporary painting, design, sculpture and architecture.

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