Friday, November 20, 2009


I haven't seen it yet myself but just thought I'd spread the word that there is a Pedro Friedeberg exhibition here in New York at Henaine Fine Art (until 11 December) and, if you happen to be in Mexico City, another at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (until 17 January). In 1966 Crafts Horizons magazine (precursor to American Craft) published an an exquisitely composed autobiographical poem/manifesto by the artist. An updated version is on his website and my transcription of the original is below, and a picture of his famous hand chair, shown above in situ in the home of fashion designer Arnold Scaasi, circa 1965. The hand chairs are just one motif in the artists extensive iconography.

I was born in Italy
during the era of Mussolini
who made all trains run on time.
Immediately thereafter
I moved to Mexico
where the trains are never on time,
but once they start moving
they pass pyramids.
My education was first entrusted
to a Zapotec governess
and later to such brilliant mentors as
Mathias Goeritz
who taught me murals,
Jose Gonzales who taught me carpentry,
and Gerry Morris
who taught me to play bridge.
I have invented several styles of architecture
as well as one new religion
and two salads.
I am particularly fond of social problems
and cloud formations.
I am an idealist.
I am certain that very soon now
humanity will arrive at a marvelous epoch
totally devoid of Knoll chairs
or Danish coffee tables,
and the obscenity of Japanese rock gardens
5,000 miles from Kyoto.
At present I work in a circus.
I live on the left bank
of the Paseo de la Reforma
where I pursue my deliciously futile
but absolutely useless existence.

1 comment:

Carlton Hobbs said...

Thank you for this great blog. I much enjoyed the poem and will make sure to see the exhibit!