MacArthur Fellows Program

Alfredo Jaar

Photographer | Class of 2000

New York, New York
44 at time of award
Area of Focus
Photography, 3-D Visual Art
Published July 1, 2000

About Alfredo's Work

Alfredo Jaar is an artist who fuses the aesthetic and the ethical to focus on injustices around the world—poverty, exploitation, genocide.

For almost two decades, Jaar has focused on photography as political witness.  This commitment was never more evident than in Real Pictures, an exhibition created from his 1994 journey through Rwanda, Zaire, and Uganda during the aftermath of massacres there.  Jaar’s images are often presented within complex but spare installations made of found objects, posters, projected images, reflective surfaces, and photo-text pieces; they show the tangled effects of international economic and political realities on the lives of individuals.  His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome. 


Jaar holds the Winton Chair in Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.  His images have been reproduced in several publications, including Alfredo Jaar, A Catalogue (1990), It Is Difficult: Ten Years (1998), Alfredo Jaar: The Fire This Time: Public Interventions 1979-2005 (2005), and Alfredo Jaar: Emergency (2005).

Jaar received degrees from the Instituto Chileno Norteamericano de Cultura (1979) and the Universidad de Chile (1981). 

Last updated January 1, 2006

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