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MMoCA Presents Federico Uribe: Metamorphosis | Metamorfosis

Panda bear sculpture made of bullet shells.
Federico Uribe, Panda Bear, 2018. Bullet Shells, 60 x 52 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the Artist.

MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) will present Metamorphosis | Metamorfosis, featuring the Colombian-born, Miami-based artist Federico Uribe’s magical, colorful, and sculptural menagerie of animals made of ordinary materials. Colorful shotgun casings and golden, varying caliber bullets are brought together to form a lion; leather sneakers are arranged into a leaping puma, and an army helmet becomes a turtle’s shell.

One might think that Uribe intends to alert viewers to the senseless killing of animals. But, instead, Uribe aims to use everyday and sometimes provocative materials to challenge associations; the goal is against the grain and utopian—or, as he explains, to “make people happy”—in spite of preconceived connotations. Uribe shape-shifts feelings of sorrow, rage, and despair to create positive, immersive environments.

Metamorphosis | Metamorfosis will be on view September 30, 2023 through May 26, 2024 in the State Street Gallery, The Shop, and the Lobby. Uribe will fill a former MMoCA office space adjacent to The Shop with his magical ecosystem depicting the flora and fauna found in a coral reef.

An exhibition celebration is scheduled for Saturday, September 30, 2023, from 5–8 PM, including a conversation between Uribe and Guest Curator Laura Dickstein Thompson from 6–7 PM in the Museum Lecture Hall. Admission to MMoCA’s galleries and exhibition events is free and open to the public.

Art installation of a reef.
Installation view of Federico Uribe, Plastic Reef, 2018–23. Recycled plastic. Courtesy of MASS MoCA.

Laura Dickstein Thompson, EdD, is the Guest Curator for Metamorphosis | Metamorfosis. Thompson has held leadership positions in museums for three decades, including as founding Director of Education and Curator of Kidspace from 2002–2023 at MASS MoCA, in North Adams, Massachusetts. There, she curated 30 exhibitions with renowned artists including Uribe, Wendy Red Star, and Ran Hwang, and developed community partnership programs exploring social justice, compassion, and socio-emotional learning.

About the Artist

Artist Federico Uribe pretending to scream at their sculpture of a feline animal.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1962, Federico Uribe now lives and works in Miami, Florida. His artwork resists classification and emerges from intertwining ordinary objects in surprising ways that maintain a formal reference to art history. Uribe studied art at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá and received an MFA at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase, under the supervision of Luis Camnitzer. He later studied and worked in Cuba, Mexico, Russia, England, before settling in Miami.

Uribe’s work has been regularly shown at galleries and museums in Europe, Asia, and widely across the United States. His works are in the public collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; Vero Beach Museum, Florida; and Bass Museum, Miami Beach, Florida, among others. Over the past decade, Uribe has been the subject of solo exhibitions at MASS MoCA; the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin; The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York; and has been featured in the 2019 Venice Biennale. Federico Uribe is represented by Adelson Galleries.

Federico Uribe: Metamorphosis | Metamorfosis
On View
September 30, 2023–May 26, 2024

Exhibition Celebration
September 30, 2023
Reception | 5–8 PM
Artist and Curator Talk | 6–7 PM

Free Admission

Marni McEntee
Director of Communications
Direct: 608.257.0158 ext. 241


About MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is always admission-free. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them. The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community.

The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, and cinema. The adjacent Rooftop lounge is used for community and collaborative art pop-ups, as well as a reception area for Museum events. Please visit to learn more.