Biography - La Casa de Jorge Páez Vilaró - Restaurant & Art Gallery

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Páez Vilaró

  • Born in 1922 at Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • Founder and director of the American Art Museum of Maldonado (MAAM).
  • Member of National Commission of Fine Arts.
  • President of the Modern Art Museum Commission.
  • Member of the Bolivar Monument National Commission.
  • National and International jury in numerous saloons and events.
  • Vice-president of ICOM (UNESCO).
  • United Nations Consultant.
  • Member of the Plastic and Visual Arts National Advisory Commission.
  • Member of the Historical Restoration Commission of Colonia del Sacramento.
  • Candidate to the Organization of American States - OAS Gabriela Mistral Award, Plastic Arts,1987.
  • Vice-president of the Friends of Solis Theatre Commission.
  • Founder of the International Group "Societé Imaginarie".
  • Organizer of the "Museo del Azulejo" in Colonia del Sacramento.
  • President of the National Visual Arts Commission.

Jorge Páez Vilaró was born the 19 of May of 1922 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Pertaining to one of the oldest and founding families of the country, he grew and was educated in a generous cultural atmosphere. His father the Dr Miguel Páez Formoso, was an eminent Americanist, author of several books of American history, founding lawyer of the Agrarian Party, editor of the Constitution of the Republic (1917), university professor of political economy in the Faculty of Right and university professor of Ethics, History, Philosophy in the University of the Republic.

JPV completes his studies, specializing in Industrial Accounting (LaSalle University) making sure one first stage administrative work in important industries of Uruguay. Consequently he was watering his firm artistic vocation, waked up from very early, concurring to the factories of several teachers (Guillermo Rodriguez, Enzo Kabregu, Vicente Martín, Dinetto Linen) with whom affirmed his conditions for the practice of the plastic arts.

Possessor of a vast humanistic culture inherited of his father and teacher, Jorge Páez Vilaró was emphasizing his firm intellectual values to constitute what would be the structural base of all its intelligent creative work, as well as the innumerable projects that he developed during his active and productive existence.

As soon as the second war finished at 1948 he settled in England, tying to the most outstanding figures of the local arts (Ben Nicholson, Jacob Epstein, Hartung, etc.). From that instance, he made numerous trips by the Old World, where he fulfilled different missions, studied, he was also contacted with great teachers with whom he had dialogues and experiences of extreme importance not only for his art, but for the development of his action in the spheres of the culture. Of the list of remembered contacts, he writes down his unforgettable encounter and interviews with Pablo Picasso, Mace Chagall, Giacometti, Henry Moore, Bacon, Hartung, Rolf Cavael, Severini, Chadwyck, Barbara Hepworth, Nicolas de Stael, the Spaniards of Paris: Fenosa, Clave, Parra, Peinado, Fernández, Domínguez, the Italians Campigli, Sironi, Afro, Mirko, Mascherini, Capogrossi, Vedova, Santomasso, De Chiricho, the Cobra Group integrated with Appel, Jorn, Corneille, Ajechinsky, the pioneers of the informalism: Tapies, Millares, Viola, etc.

In 1957 he organized and took to the museum of Municipal Art of Amsterdam an important sample of Uruguayan art, including some Torres Garcia paintings. That exhibition was shown later at several cities having him as the main entertainer and speaker. He studied museology with. Prof. Sandberg, one of the maximum world-wide authorities in the matter. This event has a remarkable influence for Jorge Páez Vilaró then in the Stedelijk Museum ties to the production of the Cobra Group, approaching there to Appel, and Corneille, from whom he obtained renew concepts and lessons for the affirmation of his painting and ideas. His painting or vision of the art turns one hundred eighty degrees after these gracious encounters, turning towards the search of a new expression that complied with his feeling of the color and the image. This way Jorge Páez Vilaró places the "needles in the clock of his time", innovating, incorporating and transmitting all the adopted and sense, like the correct way to conceive a new art in agreement with the philosophical, human, social and aesthetic changes, communicated by the new man of post war. Each one of his trips gave rise to sharp debates and public performances in its native Montevideo as well as in Buenos Aires, where he also had formed his atmosphere in touch with the most outstanding artists of the moment: Presas, Raúl Russo, Santiago Cogorno, Vasileff, Berni, etc. It was indeed in Buenos Aires where he exposes for the first time in the Pizarro Gallery (1961) a series of works made under the trusteeship of its relations with the Cobra Group, giving rise to praises and to the enthusiasm of the youngest that at that moment were appearing with a more universalistic art in Argentina: Rómulo Macció, Felipe Noe, Jorge de la Vega, Deira, Dávila, etc. With many of them he meets again in Paris, where the New Argentinean Figuration Group arises, of doubtless weight in the plastic history of the brother country in the Sixties.

Jorge Páez Vilaró artist painter had an enthusiastic vocation for the total thematic of the art, creating one of the most important private collections of the country which included in its excellent inventory: a drawing of Picasso, a dancer of Degas, oil of Chagall "Cow playing the Violin", (1927),Lurcat, Marie Cassat, Constant Permeke, Baumaister, Mondrian, Vasarelli Tapies, De Pisis, sanguinas of Maillol, oil of Derain, Campigli, De Chirico, Afro, Clave, drawing of Miró, oils of Appel, Corneille, Jorn, Hartung, etc.

In addition to all these pieces the domestic heap, true cenacle of intellectuals and artists, was enriched with sculptures of Degas, Maillol, Rodin, Moore, Chadwick, Marino Marini, etc. and a splendid and always increasing collection of pre-Columbian art that would be the base for the later creation of the Museum of American Art of Maldonado.

In this synthesis of merits it is possible to remember the Foundation of the Windsor Gallery (1950) in combination with great galleries of England like Parker, Gimpel, etc., that contributed exhibitions of first magnitude and also the creation of the Museum of Modern Art, supported by the Newspaper El Pais, that was inaugurated with three exceptional exhibitions: Young English sculptors, Vasarelli and engravers of Holland. His intelligent defense for the new searches caused renewed controversies that revitalized the environmental climate that was being animated by the great Teacher Torres Garcia and his Constructive Art as with the power of his thoughts and values.
For example, Jorge Paez Vilaró organized with the German painter Hans Plastchek and the critic Peter Bahiertal the first concert and discussion on the abstract art. During several years he occupied the title of the critic and founded the Cultural Supplement of the newspaper El Bién Público, leaving unforgettable track with his stimulating and intelligent articles and appreciations on the plastic arts and the conceptual revisionism demanded by the hour of new experiences. Between all this mix of innumerable activities: conferences, writing of prologues, round tables, radial hearing, tours by the country offering audio-visual in schools of the Republic, Jorge Páez Vilaró fulfilled a wide chain of individual and collective exhibitions in addition to being selected in repeated opportunities to represent the country with his works, in events, contests and biennales in which obtained important prizes.
Analyzed his rich biography we can say that Jorge Páez Vilaró was the Latin American painter who obtained the greater amount of distinctions in international collatings, within which most demanding, the Biennial of San Pablo granted in three editions the Prize to him: Brindes Pombo for his drawings, the Prize Caio Alcantara Machado for his informal paintings, and the Prize to the Best Latin American sketcher for his "dibujazos".

It is simultaneously possible to illustrate for the most intelligent understanding of his personality in the land of the aesthetic one, that after his contacts with the teachers of the Abstract Expressionism in Europe (Tapies, Millares, Feito, Fautrier, etc.) he become one of the leaders of the movement in South America. An historical work and a memorable retrospective sample in the Municipal Museum of the capital, located him in the seat of honor of all this generation of the Fifties that substantially changed the course of the contemporary Uruguayan art.

The extensive list of exhibitions as much in his area as in important centers of America and Europe can be valued with the patient reading of its referring curriculum that is enclosed to these lines of semblanza.

He was several times designated member of the National Commission of Plastic Arts that handles the policy of the arts in Uruguay. From this high position ratified by several Governments, Jorge Páez Vilaró made brilliant and unforgettable management. The gained confidence and prestige, as much in the local sphere as international, allowed him to carry out numerous and valuable managements like Commissioner in the Biennials of Venice and San Pablo, Delegate in contests of Spain, Chile, Argentina, Kassel, Medellín, Valparaiso, Cartagena, etc.

In 1960 also collaborated in the creation of the Biennial of Cordoba, accompanying to its main managers Pedro Pont Verges and Christian Sorensen in all the organizational process of this important event of the Latin American arts, closed today.

Meanwhile he received the offer of the Organization of American States Secretary, Mr. José Mora Otero, to occupy the Culture Direction in this institution, honor that was thankfully prevented by the own sum of stable commitments. Many remarkable works in the Latin American panorama have counted with his expert support.

With Francisco Mattarazo he was in the basis of the Biennial of San Pablo, to where he concurred to in all its editions like critic, painter, commissioner and also like member of the International Jury.
Also he integrated the Brazilian delegation that inaugurated the Brazilian Pavilion of the Biennial of Venice.
He collaborated with Niomar Moniz Sodre in the first campaign of awareness for the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro,
Took part in the foundation of the Museum of Modern Art in Santiago de Chile along with Nemesio Antúnez, Barreda, Ortuzar, Roser Bru, etc.
He organized the donation of Uruguayan art for this Museum.
Equal initiative allowed the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires to have a valuable and representative Uruguayan plastic collection.
He organized the valuable donation of Uruguayan Art to the Museum of Contemporary Art of San Pablo (MAC).
Represented the Biennial of San Pablo in the area for many years.
Was invited by the President of Brazil, Juselino Kubicheck to different cultural days during the formation process of Brasilia.
Collaborated with Marta Traba and figures in the original foundation act of the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá.
He ensambled with Godula Bucholz an important and pioneering traveling exhibition of Latin America that culminated in Baden Baden with a conference on the subject.
Took part in the purchase of the Uruguayan Pavilion in Venice by mandate of the Uruguayan president of Government Eduardo Víctor Haedo.
Represented and was selector of the Biennial of Engraving of Chile. The same happened with the Biennial of Medellín that had him between its main entertainers.
Was member of the Committee presided over by the Dr Rodolfo Mezzera to create the Municipal Latin American Museum of Montevideo.
Collaborated with Asis de Chateaubrian in the creation of the Museum of San Pablo.

Prologued more than one hundred exhibitions. Dictated conferences in resonant centers like the University Paraninfo, Friends of the Art, Museum of Chile, Ateneo de Montevideo, London Royal Society of Photography, Latin American Center of Rome, Faculty of Architecture of Asuncion, Museum of Viña del Mar, Rotary Club (several countries), Carafa Museum of Cordoba, Latin American Institute of Madrid, Institute of Latin American Studies of Utrech, School of Beautiful Arts of Lima, etc.

Reorganized the Photo Club of Uruguay. Was designated to preside over the Commission that studied the viability of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Uruguay, cradle in its novel initiative to erect it in the Centennial Stage of Soccer, to obtain the cultural coexistence of the arts with the sport and the masses. Consequently with the tight synthesis of these lines on the image and valuable management of Jorge Páez Vilaró as much in its mother country as to wide and the long thing of the Americas, we must also emphasize its untiring work in the land of the historical reconstructions and in the substantial one, salvation of the atmosphere and surroundings in which later it will make work the Museum of American Art, call to be one of the most important cultural of the country and the region. It alerts and sensible before the destructive current that affects the inventory of historical goods of the country, Jorge Páez Vilaró managed to recover with his effort plus the generous collaboration of third, three beautiful examples of the first Portuguese architecture of the Colony of the Sacrament that date from principles of century XVIII, among them this one, his house that today pays him a tribute. Also in the same zone and under the auspices of CITIBANK it recycle the "Portuguese house of 1726" in which he installed a peculiar and beautiful museum "Colonial Ceramics and Floor tiles", with the base of one complete collection of pieces (600) armed under his supervision.

As much his vast culture as his restlessness, plus the sum of a creative ambition, allowed him to deepen in the urbanism and the architecture area, joining one of the most prestigious studies of the country (Arq. Luis García Pardo), collaborating in the programming and concretion of three beautiful buildings in Montevideo and two individual raised examples of the best architecture in Punta del Este: L'Hirondelle and Ruca Malen.

He was one of the city-planners of Punta Ballena, in where he had his famous white house (Yemanja) builded in one of the most beautiful seaside places of Uruguay, a few kilometers away from Punta del Este.

Of his sculptor incursion there are two individual works: an enormous moving body in the Customs Pavilion of Montevideo and two iron murals in the Tower Gorlero Building of Punta del Este.

Jorge Páez Vilaró frequently remembered with nostalgia his lunches with Picasso in Vallauris, in the occasion of the sample of ceramics that he organized to the malagueño genius in Montevideo, as well as to his admired friend, Jean Lurcat, the father of the modern tapestry, that trusted him the carpets exhibition that was shown in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

His americanist vocation took him to integrate the Bolivarian Society of Uruguay and to integrate the National Commission for the Monument to the Liberator in Uruguay.

Faithful to that thought that was motor of all his sleeplessness, he founded in 1970 the Museum of American Art of Maldonado. Being its "alma máter" and irreplaceable figure, he drove without rests the Latin American arts, fulfilling unpublished cultural programs for the area, where it rises like an exemplary center of irradiation of the creative voices of the continent.

The extensive, important, weighed and the opportune task of Jorge Páez Vilaró, since the opening of the MAAM, doesn’t have comparison. To the salvation of the beautiful historical house that serves to him as seat (the pink house of Henry Burnet), his sensible adaptation for the new proposed aims, the urbanization of the gardened surroundings, the outdoor space destined to show sculptures of brother countries artists, the total unit of the project for its colloquial action with the public who arrive to Punta del Este.

In the main rooms Jorge Páez Vilaró acclimated his wonderful pre-Columbian art collection - unique in the South Cone - constituted by near two thousand pieces that cover from Mexico to the North Argentine (expansive Inca). In the colonial rooms he also presents his surprising collection of objects, pictures, sculptures, pertaining to the religious conquest cultural horizons, (Jesuitical Missions, Peru, North of Brazil, Quito, etc.).

And the panoramic destined to the exaltation and communication of the Latin American values as from 3,500 years before Christ, to the present time, completes with rooms of ethnography and contemporary art, in which appear the most significant authors of the present time.

To this height of our warm biography, we cannot forget the manifesto in the taking conscience of the American being, in the try to affirm his cultural identity in front the rest of the world, that Jorge Páez Vilaró practiced fervently in his attitude of promotional painter, emotion and action man. It is in the practice of that feeling that comes to him from his predecessors that he discovers that the hour has arrived to feel himself brother in a great America, total mother country of centennial cultures, overflowed of vitality and adventure, with a capacity to say and to create that turns it in the hope and reserve for a new humanity.

Jorge Páez Vilaró embraces himself of the "Wild Art"; in order to shape the local thematic, that has the humors of its people, and to document "the daily story of each corner, of the own and intimate way of life".

With that philosophy of locality, appears in his paintings the "tango" subjects, citizen subjects, the cafes, the city life iconography, its pictures, everything arise in an affective climate and of affirmation and inventiveness that saves in the time the image and character of  his homeland and its communities, landscapes, dramas and joys.

Our artist has defined itself as a chronicler of his circumstances that counts in the space of his paintings the popular anecdotes, faithful to a secular tradition that comes in today to, Daumier, Hogart, Ensor, Solana and venerated Uruguayan painter Pedro Figari. To it he added for the dose of his communication, all the learned from the New Figuration (Bacon and its consequences), adapted to his natural sense of humor and vision of the cosmos and the humanity.

It is necessary to remember, referring us to the attitude of its behavior like esthete, its precursory manifesto of the Dibujazo, believing in the necessity to confer to the drawing, the function as an expression by itself, and not like an element of intermediation or passage for the picture. Consequently with that thought it appeared in America a shining generation of sketchers that gave identity his felt premonitions. As sketcher he was awarded with two prizes in the Paulista Biennial and the Prize of Drawing in the Biennial of Rijeka, Yugoslavia.

Few artists in our country have fulfilled so rich and complete task. Few have been so generous in the delivery of the effort, the sweat, the stimulus for the others, unconditional supporter for youth. Jorge Páez Vilaró, dreaming and doing what he called "our America of each day". the countries of Brazil, Peru and Chile honored him with the decorations of "Order of Baron de Rio Branco", "Commander to the Merit" and the "Order of Gabriela Mistral", several institutions of the three continents designated him member of honor, receiving also the stimulant and continuous tributes of governments and towns that he assumed without vanities as part of a dialogue that comprised of his warm and natural delivery and affection.

His list of services, the long performance in the plastic as in the territory of the culture is authenticated by hundreds of press and magazine articles of Uruguay and rest of the world, as well as is written important critical works and books that include the problematic of the contemporary art. His paintings and drawings are in important museums of the Uruguay and rest of the world, as well as in infinity of particular collections.
Los pintores Ernesto Deira, Rómulo Macció, Jorge Páez y Leopoldo Presas en Punta del Este Dic. 1962
The argentinian painters Ernesto Deira, Rómulo Macció and Leopoldo Presas with Jorge Páez Vilaró at Punta del Este December 1962
Partial view of one of his drawings that he called "dibujasos".
JPV, Gomez Sicre, Presno, Echave, Damiani, Carlos Páez ( JPV's brother ) and seated below Mexican artist José Luis Cuevas.
JPV with Jorge Luis Borges at an exhibition of his drawings in Buenos Aires
The Group of the 58s : Washington Barcala, Juan Ventayol, Jorge Páez Vilaró, Willy Marchand, Manuel Espínola Gómez, Lino Dinetto and Helios Acosta. Pepe Echave is not in the picture.
Nelson Ramos, Espínola Gómez, Juan Ventayol, Norberto Berdía, Ambassador Lachman (Chile), JPV,and Agustín Alamán at the donation ceremony to Santiago de Chile Museum.

Painting a Punta del Este landscape
the three brothers Páez Vilaró: Carlos, Jorge and Miguel with their mother Mrs Rosa Vilaró
Painting in the atelier of his house of Carrasco, Montevideo
In the living of his house in Carrasco, Montevideo. sorrounded by his fantastic art collection.
La plástica del Uruguay de la década del 50. Juan Ventayol, Jorge Páez Vilaró, Eduardo Victor Haedo, Jorge Damiani, Vicente Martin, Oscar
Uruguayan plastic arts of the 50s: Juan Ventayol, Jorge Páez Vilaró, Eduardo Victor Haedo, Jorge Damiani, Vicente Martin, Oscar Garcia Reino, Agustin Alamán, and Jorgito Páez Algorta.
Misiones de los Tapes 65
Historic Quarter
Colonia del Sacramento

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