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Juan Garcia de Oteyza (1962–2013)

color photograph

Juan García de Oteyza at the opening reception of Eirik Johnson’s Sawdust Mountain at Aperture Gallery, 2010.

I am sad to report the death of Juan Garcia de Oteyza in Mexico City on Monday, August 26. Juan was director of Aperture Foundation from 2008 to 2010. During his tenure he increased our international presence in Brazil, Mexico, and Spain. He was a superb editor, an excellent diplomat, and a visionary. At the end of his life he was still working with Fundación Televisa and Aperture in editing a book on the French photographer Bernard Plossu.

Juan had a great career in publishing, in promoting the arts, and as a diplomat. He was director of Editorial Turner in Madrid (2000 to 2004) and later in Mexico City (2004 to 2007). He became Cultural Attaché of the Mexican Embassy, serving in Washington from 2007 to 2008, when he joined Aperture as director. In 1985 Juan founded Eridanos Press to publish contemporary literature of non-English writers in English. From 1996 to 2000, he was director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in New York. He worked with the Museum of Modern Art on the first retrospective of Manuel Álvarez Bravo and also organized a tribute to the poet and Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I worked closely with Juan, and his enthusiasm, knowledge, and charisma will be missed by members of his family, friends, and all of us at Aperture.

—Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Chairman of the Board

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