Ivan Navarro (Chilean, b.1972) is a world-renowned sculptor, who was born in Santiago, Chile. He obtained his BA in Fine Arts from the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile. He has contributed to the post-punk movement by using cold neon light as his medium. One of his most notable works is Red and Blue Electric Chair, which is Navarro's interpretation of a common chair. It features a frame constructed of purple neon tubes.

When Navarro was a baby, there was a great deal of political corruption in Chile. Many political dissidents were taken from their homes and never heard from again. Navarro grew up with the fear that he would disappear like these individuals. He began using light in his sculptures as a symbol of hope and truth. His inspiration comes from everyday objects, such as shopping carts, ladders, doors, and chairs. At first glance, his pieces look fun, with bright colors and common shapes. If you look deeper into the images, you get a glimpse of Navarro's own psychological anxiety. In one unfinished series entitled The Edge, his inspiration is the simplicity of a door. When you peer into the glass in the door, the neon creates an illusion of a portal that goes on forever. One of Navarro's earlier works, You Sit, You Die, was his version of the electric chair. It was constructed of white fluorescent lights. The Chilean government used electricity as a means of torture. Included on the chair, he wrote the names of every individual that had been executed in the state of Florida by electric chair. The joints of the chair were tied together with shoelaces, which was an item that the prison took away out of fear that the prisoners would hang themselves.

Navarro's works have been exhibited in many Fine Art galleries and museums across the globe, including the North Dakota Museum of Modern Art in Grand Forks, the Millennium Museum in Beijing, China, the Archill Gallery in Aukland, New Zealand, and the 27/7 Gallery in London, England. Navarro currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Timeline

1972
Born in Santiago, Chile
1995
BFA, PUC University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Exhibitions

2008
Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide Bank Festival of arts, Adelaide, Australia
2008
Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris
2008
NY / LA Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia
2008
A Political Exhibition Tirana Institute for Contemporary Art, Tirana, Alabania
2008
Informed by Function Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, USA
2008
Ellos me Miran Sala Gasco, Santiago, Chile
2008
Homeless Lamp, The Juice Sucker Fabric Work Shop & Museum, Philadelphia, USA (solo)
2008
Antifurniture Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France (solo)
2008
Backstage, Speed of Light Greenaway Gallery - Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts, Adelaide, Australia (solo)
2008
No Man’s Land Koppelman Gallery, Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, USA (solo)
2007
Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile (solo)
2007
Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina (solo)
2007
Large Wall Hole (project room), Jersey City Museum, New Jersey (solo)
2007
Written with Light, Bloomberg, New York
2007
Written with Light Bloomberg, New York, USA
2007
¿Dónde Están? Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile (solo)
2007
Propuesta de Monumento para Victor Jara Galeria Moro, Santiago, Chile (solo)
2007
Transcultura Centro Cultural de España, San Salvador, El Salvador
2007
Body Screens Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro, Mexico
2007
Reality Undone University of Essex Gallery, Essex, UK
2007
Intelligent Design Momenta Art, Brooklyn, USA
2007
Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Works from The Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA
2007
Petrolina Moscow Museum of Modern Art at Petrovka and We are your future Art Center Winzavod. Special projects for 2 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia.
2006
Arquivar Tormentas, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2006
Good Company, Flashlight, Bath Street Gallery, Aukland, New Zealand
2006
Multiplication, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile
2006
Concentration Camp, Roebling Hall, New York (solo)
2006
Unosunove Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy (solo)
2006
"No soy de aqui, no soy de alla," Union gallery, London (solo)
2006
"Trace," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2005
"Next Wave Festival," Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA, Curated by Dan Cameron
2005
"Spy Glass," Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris (solo)
2005
Jersey City Museum (project room), New Jersey (solo)
2005
"Shortcuts," Art Rock, Rockefeller Plaza (project room), New York (solo)
2005
"Ars Lucis. Light as an art medium," ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany. Curated by Andreas Beitin
2005
"Poles apart / Poles together," 51th Venice Biennale’s paralell project, organized by Juan Puntes and Doron Pollak, Venice
2005
"Prague Biennale 2. Accion Directa." Karlin Hall, Prague, Czech Republic, Curated by Marco Scotini
2005
"The Disappered," North Dakota Museum of Art, North Dakota, Curated by Laurel Reuter
2005
"Transformer," Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile, Curated by Mario Navarro
2004
"Juice Sucker," CSPS Legion Arts, Iowa (solo)
2004
"Monuments for D. Flavin," Roebling Hall, Brooklyn (solo)
2004
Produciendo Realidad, arte e resistenza latinoamericana. Prometeo Associazione, Lucca, Italy
2004
Terrorvision. Exit Art, New York, USA
2004
Cile-Italia. Instituto Italo Latino Americano. Rome, Italy
2004
Futuribles, Roebling Hall in ARCO, Madrid, Spain
2003
Brewster 2003, Brewster, New York, USA
2003
BQE, White Box, New York, USA
2003
Frankenstein (or, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye), Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA
2002
Viology, Violence of Culture & Culture of Violence, Galería de la Raza, San Francisco, California
2002
"Blade Runner," Gasworks Studios, London (solo)
2001
"Big Bang," Galería Animal, Santiago, Chile (solo)
2001
International open studio exhibition, Art/OMI, New York
2001
The place without limit, contemporary art from Chile (traveling exhibition): Museo de Arte Moderno de Guadalajara, Mexico; Museo Rubén Blades, Montevideo, Uruguay; Museo del Barro, Asunción, Paraguay

Literature

2008
Julianne Pierce. “Iván Navarro” Speed of Light (exh bro). Edit. Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts, Adelaide, Australia
2008
Schlegel, Amy Ingrid. “No Man’s Land” (exh bro). Edit. Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, USA
2008
Bozicnik, Nina. “Piercing the Facade: Iván Navarro and the Aesthetic of Social Illumination” (exh bro). Edit Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, USA
2007
Renske Janssen and Nicolaus Schafhausen. “Changing Roles Artists’ personal views and wishes”, Witte de With Center for Conemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2006
Ravenal, John. “Artificial Light” (exh cat). Edit. VCUarts Anderson Gallery, VMFA, Richmond and MOCA Miami. USA
2005
Sorokina, Elena. “Crude Oil Paintings” (exh cat). Edt. Elena Sorikina and studio Radia, new York, USA
2004
Scotini, Marco. “Produciendo Realidad, arte e resistenza latinoamericana” (exh cat). Edit. Prometeo Associazione, Lucca, Italy
2002
Dittborn, Eugenio, “Where is Santiago, Chile?” (exh cat) Fantasmatic, Edit. National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2001
Viveros, Christian. “Big Bang” (exh cat). Edit. Galería Animal, Santiago, Chile
2000
Mellado, Justo. “Between Eruption and the Object’s Withdrawal” (exh cat) Magnetica. Edit. Fundación Telefónica, Santiago, Chile