During the 2012-2013 Art Season, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden was positively luminous thanks to hundreds of lamps by Havana-born artist Jorge Pardo.
Renowned for his meticulous attention to craft and his eye for vibrant color combinations, Pardo’s lamp works are delightful permutations of red, orange, and white and made of powder-coated steel. Reminiscent of blooming flowers romantically dangling from a tree, Pardo’s installation transformed the Garden’s tree canopy into a visual utopia.
“The design of the Allee (by William Lyman Phillips) is dependent on light,” says Nannette Zapapta, Fairchild’s Chief Operating Officer and Art Curator. “The tree canopy overhead creates a gentle dappled light while the end of the Allee is open to the bright sun; the purpose being that visitors are drawn through the shaded path and into the sunlight leading out to the Garden’s majestic vista. Jorge’s lamps created a beautiful, interesting and respectful juxtaposition in the Allee especially at night.”
Jorge Pardo was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1963. His family moved to Chicago when he was six, and he moved to Los Angeles to attend Art Center at 19. Amid the Southern Californian art culture of the 1980s, Pardo found inspiration outside the traditional arenas of fine art. Looking to the innovative mid-century architectural treasures in the Hollywood Hills and the cross-pollination in an increasingly multicultural city, Pardo developed his unique and progressive view of the relationship between art and space. He has since created a striking body of work, made distinct by an uninhibited, interdisciplinary approach in which artworks evoke the function of everyday objects and speak to an ever-more-global identity.
Pardo’s aesthetic has long eluded traditional categorization. It is often described as a merger of fields in which art meets architecture and design. Pardo’s lamps, work surfaces, interiors and buildings do more than convolute disciplines; they delve into the dynamic between art and the space it occupies, creating a gestalt in which the negative space becomes part of the work. His art intermingles with commerce, work by other artists and him, enveloping the entirety of the space into a singular experience.
Garden Lights will be on view concurrently with Sitting Naturally, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s inaugural exhibition of the Design at Fairchild arts initiative.
About Jorge Pardo
Jorge Pardo (b. 1963, Havana, Cuba) studied at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including 4166 Sea View Lane, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998); Fundació La Caixa, Barcelona (2004); House, Miami MoCA North (2007), traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2008); K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (2009); and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2010). Architectural projects and non-art specific spaces have included creating a café for the Leipzig Messe in Germany, a restaurant for the K21 Museum, and the re-design of the installation for the pre-Columbian collection at LACMA. His work is part of numerous public collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Modern, London.
Art at Fairchild is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lin Lougheed and Aaron I. Fleischman.