Alvaro Urbano (b. 1983, Madrid) lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Architecture School in Madrid and completed his studies at the Institut für Raumexperimente taught by Olafur Eliasson, Universität der Künste in Berlin.
In 2014, Urbano received the Villa Romana Fellowship. He attended the The Artists and Architects-in-Residence at MAK, Los Angeles, 2016/2017. He is currently a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris, France.
Alvaro Urbano’s practice embraces a variety of media, from performance to spatial installations that unfold throughout an experimental process. Using architecture, fiction, theatre and heterotopia as points of departure, his often site-specific installations consider the space and its local inhabitants as possible actors or co-authors of a narration. His work invites dialogue between entities in newly conceived environments – conflicts between reality and fiction that redefine and render time-space situations.
His works was exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; ArtBasel Statements with ChertLüdde; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Salón Acme, Mexico City; CAB, Brussels; Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow; PAC, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; S.A.L.T.S., Basel; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
Collections: Collection Lafayette Anticipations – Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin; Colección Jumex, Mexico City
Architecture and Design. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid
Institut für Raumexperimente: Olafur Eliasson Class. Master Studies. Universität der Künste, Berlin
Grants and Residencies
MAK Residency, Los Angeles
Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels
Villa Romana Prize, Florence
HANGAR Barcelona- Smart Project Space, Amsterdam
2010 – 2008
Propuestas, Fundacion Arte y Derecho, Spain
The Great Ruins of Saturn, curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York
L’invitation au voyage, TRAVESÍA CUATRO, Madrid
El Despertar, Curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy, La Casa Encendida, Madrid
ArtBasel Statements, with ChertLüdde, ArtBasel, Basel
Hibernation with Linda Kuhn, Curated by Julia Heunemann and Nadia Pilchowski, Bärenzwinger, Berlin
AltBau, ChertLüdde, Berlin
Almost Midnight, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin
Solo presentation, ART-O-RAMA, Marseilles
Assemble, Performance on the 25th Anniversary of the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
I, curated by Treti Galaxie, Mole Antonelliana, National Cinema Museum of Turin
Functions and Fictions & Be my Muse, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (Performance Night)
Dead Men Tell No Tales, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (Performance Night)
Deep Down, Porcino Gallery, Berlin
More than Real, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (Performance Night)
The Ghost and the Host, Pavillon Social Kunstverein, Lucca
Utopias are for Birds, Outdoor exhibition, Chert, Berlin
Expanding Univereses (An Ongoing Map), Kunstverein Arnsberg
K60, Wilhem Hallen, Berlin
Utopia Kulturforum, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Jardín satélite, curated by Gilberto Gonzalez and Silvia Navarro, TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes
Dritte Britzenale, curated by Christoph Zwiener, Kleingartenanlage Morgentau, Berlin-Britz
Flowers in Art, Arken Museum, Copenhagen
Autostrada Biennale, curated by Övül Ö, Durmosoglu and Joanna Warsza, National Library, Phrishtina
17th Rome Quadrennial, curated by Sarah Cosulich and Stefano Collicelli Cagol, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
Walking on in Ice, XC.HuA Gallery, Berlin
Studio Berlin, A cooperation between Boros and Berghain, Berghain, Berlin
Biennale Gherdëina 7, curated by Adam Budak, Dolomites, Ortisei, South Tyrol, Italy
THE GARDEN BRIDGE, curated by Kinderhook & Caracas, Brücke Museum, Berlin
I dreamed I was a house, Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg
Tomber, Very project space, Berlin
Playground, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
Welcome to the Jungle, Curated by Jasmina Merz and Anna Lena Seiser, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
“what is going to happen is not “the future”, but what we are going to do”, Curated Section at ARCOmadrid, curated by Chus Martínez, Rosa Lleó and Elise Lammer, Madrid
Una vida doméstica – A Domestic Life, Curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy, Curated Sector at Salón Acme, Mexico City
Alpina Huus, curated by Elise Lammer & Denis Pernet, performance festivals at Le Commun (Geneva) and Arsenic (Lausanne)
TOUCH BASE, Curated by Anna M. Szaflarski, Studio Flotti, Berlin
FESTIVAL OF FUTURE NOWS – 2nd Edition, Hamburger Bahnhof — Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Friends of Birds, Curated by Jeanne Barral, DOC!, Paris
Notes on our equilibrium, CAB, Curated by Eléonore de Sadeleer and Evelyn Simons, Brussels
Exhibition Fellows – Final Projects: Group XLII, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles
That Time, Cycle Music and Art Festival, Curated by Eva Wilson, Kópavogur, Iceland
Deep Inside, Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, curated by Nadim Samman, Moscow
PLAN B, NRW-Forum, Dusseldorf
Hybrid Modus, Skulptur Bredelar, Bredelar
Night Tales, Nuit Blanche, Cinéma des Beaux Arts, Monaco (Movie Screening)
In Space No One Can Hear you Laugh, curated by Clarissa Tempestini, Bonelli Gallery, Milan
Art & Nature. Walking with Senses, curated by BAU (Simone Mair, Lisa Mazza, Filipa Ramos), Merano, Italy
SUPER SUPERSTUDIO, PAC-Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Co-curated by Andreas Angelidakis, Vittorio Pizzigoni and Valter Scelsi, Milan
V, Alexander Levi, Berlin
Florence Contemporary, Italian Embassy, Berlin
In the Land of the Blind the One Eyed Man Loses Sight, Dittrich Schlechtriem, Berlin
WLGTDWI (What’s Love Gotta Do With It), S.A.T.L.S., Basel
MOVIES IN MAY, Nosbaum Reding Projects, Luxembourg (Movie Screening)
Ärger im Paradise (Trouble in Paradise), curated by Rein Wolfs, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn
ALPINA HUUS > House of Deep Transformation in 11 Acts, Schinkel Pavillon, curated by Elise Lammer and Denis Pernet, Berlin
FESTIVAL OF FUTURE NOWS, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Open Studios, Villa Romana, Florence
Welcome show, Villa Romana, Florence
La Duda Original, Plataforma Revolver, Lisboa
Carry On, curated by David Horvitz, Paris
Past Futures, Present, Futures, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York
G L A S A U G E (Olafur Eliasson class), Berlin
Rundgang ( Olafur Eliasson class), UdK, Berlin
Overseas, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg
PLAYING AMONG THE RUINS, MOT – Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo As part of the Institut für Raumexperimente
Do Not Disturb, Centro Cultural Galileo & Fundación Claves de Arte, Madrid
The-Grey-Sheep Project, O.Eliasson Studio’s Gallery, Berlin
Rundgang, Final Show, Institut für Raumexperimente. Olafur Eliasson class. UdK, Berlin
LA private view for 25, Proposals Superfront Gallery / Art and Architecture, Los Angeles
Without Destination, Reykjavik Art Museum
My Boy with Such Boots We May Hope to Travel Far, Merano, various locations in and around the city
Dead Men Tell No Tales, Kölnischer Kunstverein in garden, Cologne
Osservatorio, Garden of Villa Romana, Florence
The Show the Ghost and the Host, Villa Romana, site specific installation in guest room, Florence
PERFORMING POLITICS Symposium: Critical spatial practices in Art and Architecture. The World Is Not Fair – Die Grosse Weltausstellung, Institut für Raumexperimente.
SALT: WATER 117.6, HOST, Berlin
A Brunch with Wexler, HOST, Berlin
Welcome, HOST, Berlin
Collection Lafayette Anticipations – Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin
“Rome’s Quadriennale: An Act of Love for a Mutant World” by Mariacarla Molè on ArtReview, 16 February 2021, online.
“alvaro urbano reflects on the past and future of abandoned architectural structures” on designboom, November 2020, online.
“A Haunting Installation Reexamines the Ideals of Spanish Modernist Architecture” by Hannah Feniak on Hyperallergic, 6 November 2020, online.
“Image Contributions, Alvaro Urbano, Monira AlQadiri, SHIMABUKU, Susanna Hofer, Vern Blosum, Spike Art Magazine #65, Autumn 2020, p. 53.
“Álvaro Urbano, amanecer sin fecha” by Luisa Espino on El Cultural, 16 March 2020, online.
“Alvaro Urbano at La Casa Encendida” on Artviewer, 12 March 2020, online.
“An Artist has Recreated Famous Lost Artworks for Art Basel–and They Will Disappear Again Before the Fair is Over” by Tim Schneider on Artnet, 12th June 2019, online.
“Alvaro Urbano begibt sich unter die Kunstfälscher und kopiert verlorene Werke”, on Monopol Special Issue Art Basel 2019, June 2019, p.22.
“Truth//Alvaro Urbano’s ‘Altbau’ at ChertLüdde by Nat Marcus on Berlin Art Link, 16th January 2018, online.
“Tomber at Very/Berlin curated by Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld” on Daily Lazy, July 2018, online.
“Cyborgs and utopias: Arco looks to the future” by Anna Sansom on The Art Newspaper, 19 February 2018, online.
“Five Shows to See in Berlin” by Penny Rafferty on Elephant, Magazine Issue 33, 4th December 2017, online.
“Opening: Alvaro Urbano at ChertLüdde”, Interview with Alvaro Urbano by Robert Schulte on Spike Magazine online, on occasion of the artist’s first solo exhibition “Altbau” at ChertLüdde, 24 November 2017 – 27 January 2018. Published on 24th November 2017, online.
“(in)between the lines of narration with Alvaro Urbano” by Maria Martens Serrano, on Artdependence Magazine, Vol. 26 November 2016, online.
“Künstler, die uns aufgefallen sind: ALVARO URBANO”, on Monopol, February 2016, p.28.
“Alvaro Urbano & Petrit Halilaj” by Matteo Mottin, on ATP Diary, 17th July 2019, online.
Catalogues – Publications
“Flowers in Art” by Christian Gether, Gry Hedin, Naja Rasmussen, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj, Denmark, 2021. ISBN 978-87-78751-447
“Studio Berlin Berghain” by Juliet Kothe, Dr. Klaus Lederer, Ed.: BOROS Foundation, gemeinnützig GmbH, DISTANZ Verlag, Berlin, 2020. ISBN 978-3-95476-369-6
Petrit at night Alvaro at night, “-a breath? a name?- the ways of worldmaking”, Biennale Gherdëina 7, by Franco Berardi et.Al., Institut Ladin Micurá de Rü, Italy, 2020, pp. 114-119. ISBN 978-88-8171-138-3
Ever Since Night Falls, artist’s book, published by ChertLüdde, June 2019
SUPER SUPERSTUDIO, exhibition catalogue, PAC-Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Milan
Ärger im Paradise, exhibition catalogue of the exhibition, Bundeskunsthalle
The State of a Ghost While Hosted as a Guest, publication from the Villa Romana Fellows, Villa Romana Editions, published by Argo Books ISBN 978-3-942700-62-7
Kushtetuta # 2 About Mums & Dads, edited by Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano, Self-published zines
TRANSLATION ACTS > PERFORMING POLITICS, Concept by Ifrex, Edited by Ifrex and Fotini Kushtetuta, Published by KOSOVO 2.0, Edited by Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano
MAPPING EVERYTHING, Institut für Raumexperimente (Berlin) and Institut für Landschaftsarchitektur (ETH Zurich) Project Conception: Olafur Eliasson and Guther Vogt, Nicola Eiffler
STUDIO MAGAZINE #2, an Architecture and Urbanism Publication
Ottos impossible talks / Lets start to implement little errors Impossible topics/rescued futures, Otto Rössler with the Institut für Raumexperimente, edited by Julius von Bismarck, Jeremias Holliger, Laura McLardy, Mathias Sohr, Alvaro Urbano, Euan Williams, Graphic design and concept book by bureau-aeiou
UNPLANNED: Research and Experiments at the Urban Scale, concept book by Superfront Graphic design by: Do not bend
Kønst magazine issue n.4 Erasing Darkness
Pidgin-Magazine issue n.6 (text by Jose Esparza)