Eugenio Dittborn is a Chilean painter, printmaker, draughtsman and video artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago (1961–5), at the Escuela de Fotomecánica in Madrid (1966), the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in West Berlin (1967–9) and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Dittborn’s work has been shown internationally since the early 80s. The first survey exhibition of his work took place in 1993 at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. In 1997, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago collaborated on an extensive exhibition. His work was the subject of in a one-person exhibition at Museo De Artes Visuales (MAVI), Santiago de Chile (2010). A survey of Eugenio Dittborn’s multi-panel ‘Airmail Paintings’ were held at the Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre in 2011 and his work was included in “Intense Proximity,” the 2012 Paris Triennale. An early ‘Airmail Painting’ is included in the exhibition “This Will Have Been: Art, Love, & Politics in the 1980s,” organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and traveling to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 2012–2013. A one-person exhibition of his work will take place at the Museum Het Domein Sittard, The Netherlands in 2013.
The ‘airmail painting’ has been Dittborn’s primary occupation since 1984. Initially executed on large sheets of brown paper, which could be folded down to one-sixteenth of its size and sent in large envelopes through the international mail system, he has twice changed the material of the underlying structure of the ‘airmail paintings’: in 1986 to a non-woven fabric and again in 1994 to cotton duck. The folds in the work bear with them the traces of the cultures and political landscapes through which they travel.