Siah Armajani

Mesa de picnic para Huesca, 2000

Iroko wood
Vallée de Pineta. Huesca

Curator: María Dolores Jiménez–Blanco
Technical development for the project: José Miguel Ferrando

Video 30″:


Siah Armajani Catalogue: Siah Armajani: Musée National d’Art Reina Sofía, Palais de Verre, 30 septembre 1999 – 10 janvier 2000, Itinérance, Salle des expositions du Conseil Régional de Huesca, 28 janvier – 26 mars 2000 [catalogue d’exposition].

Texts by Alicia Chillida, Nancy Princenthal, Pablo Llorca, María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco and Siah Armajani (Madrid: Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, 2000).

Siah Armajani, who moved to the United States in 1960, is one of the foremost proponents of public art and has contributed to defining the concept in his own writings. Armajani sees ‘public art’ as referring to works that by definition must have a public function, works which voluntarily renounce artistic creativity as it is conventionally understood. Since his early works, based on a purely conceptual approach, Armajani has followed a logical trajectory that first led him to reflect on the role of the artist and art in contemporary society, and then to propose and create works that challenge the traditional boundaries drawn between the fine arts, design, carpentry, town planning and engineering. These works are aimed at responding to the concrete, practical needs of the communities they are directed at and at improving everyday life.

[quote style=”first”]In the case of Mesa de picnic para Huesca (Picnic Table for Huesca) the title of the work already says a great deal about the artist’s approach. Armajani is not interested in grandiose monuments or intellectually inaccessible artistic trends. Instead, what he wants to create is something simple and, above all, something that can be used, something that responds to the real needs of a specific community, and whose beauty lies entirely in its simplicity and usefulness.[/quote]

María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco. Siah Armajani. Madrid: Musée d’Art Reina Sofía, 2000, p. 71.


[quote style=”first”]The simplicity of this structure, however, is only apparent. Behind the initial image – one that is almost naïve, primitive, lightweight – lies a great complexity of construction. The work, for example, is not a single table, but rather the sum of a number of tables of various sizes, with different forms of support, linked to form a single flat surface, the image we perceive at first glance. Indeed, this image allows us to grasp that our picnic table is in effect a metaphor for the entire body of Armajani’s work, in which we find complex meanings and a solid, coherent theoretical base concealed behind forms that are simple, accessible and familiar. All of his work takes on a profound meaning (intellectual, political and social) in view of the fact that it is the result of a sophisticated and erudite mesh of diverse cultural references that converge in one fundamental objective: to ensure that art is useful and that it is put at the service of the community.[/quote]

María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco. Siah Armajani. Madrid: Musée d’Art Reina Sofía, 2000, p. 73.


[quote style=”first”]What is public art? Public art is not about self but others. It is not about personal taste but the needs of others. It is not about the angst of the artist but the happiness and well being of others. It is not about the myth of the artist but it is about its civicness. It is not about the gap between culture and public, but it is to make art public and artist citizens again.[/quote]

Siah Armajani. Siah Armajani. Madrid: Musée d’Art Reina Sofía, 2000, p 73.


Veintiocho 3.tif






How to get to Mesa de picnic:

Coordonnées: Latitude 42º 39’ 48,49’’ N. Longitude 0º 6’ 40,28’’ W



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