Viola! Pablo Echaurren and the Metropolitan Indians

Client:  MAMbo, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna’s Project Room

Location: Bologna, Italy

Year: 2023


Brief: To design an exhibition presenting a comprehensive body of work by the artist Pablo Echaurren, exploring his evolving relationship with the city of Bologna, as demonstrated in his work from 1977-78.

The exhibition is titled ‘Viola’, which translates as a call to break down barriers, to transcend formats and disciplines. To do justice to the playful, subversive and political themes in Echaurren’s work, we designed a non-linear narrative through different scales and materials. Inspiration came from the artists colours – particularly his use of red – his textures and his preoccupation with ‘quadrattini’ or ‘little squares.’

Corrupting this language of the grid, we used a red mesh fabric, stretched tight across freestanding display panels, allowing the gridded timber support structures to be visible. Two of the panels curve, creating corners and enclosures, building anticipation and introducing moments of intimacy within the open gallery, including an inner sanctuary containing a mural, film, and a wild fanzine installation for visitors to explore.

The artist’s fantastical creatures were applied directly to the gallery walls in the style of street art ‘paste ups’, displayed alongside framed works and three-dimensional boxed assemblage, their juxtaposition and accessibility support the curatorial narrative of Echaurren’s professional journey from painting to graphics and from gallery to street.