The Bronx Museum of the Arts
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Rimer Cardillo: Araucaria examines the artistic career of the Uruguayan-born, New York-based artist Rimer Cardillo during the last decade through a selection of prints, mixed-media and sculptural works, and installations as well as several new works commissioned by the Museum for this exhibition. Cardillo's work operates at the intersection of identity, culture, history, and nature to investigate the relationship between ancestral and contemporary histories. His artistic production represents a critique of the western opposition between nature and culture by establishing parallels between a remote past-the cultural genocide of South American indigenous communities in a colonial context-and a more recent reality-the ecological devastation of this region's natural resources within a post-colonial and post-industrial era. The exhibition's subtitle, "Araucaria" underscores metaphorically these cultural and environmental concerns and refers to a member of the pine tree family native to South America. The araucaria tree once dominated immense forestial areas in Brazil and Chile, but, like much of the natural terrain in this region, has undergone severe abuse and faces near extinction. For Cardillo, the representation of nature is linked to a dual process of recuperation and renewal. Nature is both a reflection of the past and the hope for the future.
The planning phase of this ambitious exhibition was initiated in 1994 and encompassed the artist's travel to South America to conduct field research and to gather relevant source materials. The regions visited during this trip included the Misiones and the Pantanal territories located in parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay, and would not have been possible without a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The documentation and materials collected by the artist during this period have greatly informed and enriched the depth and scope of the work in this exhibition.
There are numerous members of our staff who have significantly contributed to the realization and success of this exhibition. I would be remiss if I did not extend my sincerest gratitude to Jane C. Delgado, Executive Director, for her spirited support of this project. I would also like to thank my colleagues in the curatorial department: Lydia Yee, Curator; Edwin Tangonan Ramoran, Exhibitions Coordinator; and Skowmon Hastanan, Assistant Registrar, for their invaluable advice, encouragement, and assistance throughout the planning and implementation of this exhibition. Wayne Rottman, Preparator, and the entire crew of art handlers for their skillful handling of the installation phase of the exhibition. Jerri Allyn, former Director of Education, and Zoya Kocur, Public Programs Consultant, for their imaginative and thought-provoking education and public programs. Jessica Harvey, Curriculum Specialist, designed curriculum materials for intermediate level students; and education interns Kim Carmona and Molly Hennessy developed innovative and collaborative responses to the artist's work. Alien Kleinman, Development Officer, coordinated the fundraising efforts, and Alexander Campos, Director of Public Affairs, with Toni Roberts, Press Coordinator, managed the publicity.
I would like to extend my thanks to art critic Lucy R. Lippard, and to Patricia C. Phillips, Professor of Art History and Dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz, for their insightful contributions to this publication. My sincere thanks also go to former curatorial intern Jessica Hough, for conducting research during the preliminary stages of catalogue production; Amy Scholder, for her attentive and sensitive editing; and to Cara Galowitz, for an attractive and elegantly designed publication.
I would also like to acknowledge with gratitude the following individuals and organizations who have lent works or otherwise have been of particular assistance in the realization of this exhibition: the Alien Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; Bacardi Art Foundation, Miami; Cavin-Morris Gallery, New York; Cristina Delgado; and Charles Frattini, Assistant Director of Capital Projects and Montalee Hastanan, Capital Projects Administrator, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx.
Mostly, I would like to thank the artist Rimer Cardillo for his boundless creativity and dedication throughout this project. I am inspired by the depth of his character, integrity, and vision, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share his work with a larger audience.

Marysol Nieves
Senior Curator