Making his debut solo exhibition in New York, Spanish sculptor Juan Garaizabal takes over De Buck Gallery with “Build a Story: Urban Memory of the Lost Tuileries” from June 8 through July 15. Often constructing monumental installations that recreate lost architecture as part of his “Urban Memories” works, the sculptures in Garaizabal’s exhibition take their inspiration from the Palais des Tuileries, the French royal residence that stood on the grounds of what are now the Tuileries Gardens in Paris from 1564 through 1871, when it was burned to the ground during the Paris Commune uprising. De Buck managing director and curator Rachel Vancelette explains that “Juan’s conceptual work in monumental spaces communicates his transformational processes in a unique and profound way. Both in public and private spheres, he consistently reminds his international audiences of current and ancient architectural memories.”
The work was originally conceived in 2008, though it has yet to be actualized in Paris. Garaizabal, trained as a draftsman, initially planned to recreate only the palace’s central tower but has since expanded his vision to include additional elements of the building and surrounding garden.
Vancelette’s inclusion of Garaizabal’s sketches and planning documents offers a rare look into his entire process, from design to execution and installation. The fragments he selects to replicate become part of a much larger examination of which pieces of history are shared and which become forgotten.
In 2016 Garaizabal, who has projects spanning the globe, completed the first half of Havana’s Balcony, a 69-foot-high sculpture depicting a colonial-style home and balcony next to the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The piece, which is illuminated with led lights, faces Cuba in a gesture of simultaneous longing and welcoming. Later this year, he will install the counterpart, a home and balcony facing Miami, along Havana’s waterfront. -SR