Past Exhibitions / Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City

January 15, 2009 - June 7, 2009

This exhibition explored recent developments in contemporary art in Mexico City through the theme of “escultura social” (social sculpture). That term was derived from the German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys, who proposed that sculpture, if made from everyday materials and displayed in a “real world” setting, has the potential to affect society most broadly. The show focused on works by a generation of young artists who came to maturity in Mexico City in the 1990s. It had four themes: the transformation of everyday materials, social engagement with the public, the role of language and text in contemporary art and the impact of music, popular media and performance.

Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City included sculpture, installation, photography and video as well as conceptual works by artists including Maria Alos, Gustavo Artigas, Miguel Calderon, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Daniel Guzman, Damian Ortega and Pedro Reyes. Works by Dr. Lakra (best known as one of Mexico’s most famous tattoo artists) and the pop/rock band Los Super Elegantes were also included.

View an image gallery from the opening event.

Interactive

Audio

Video

Listen to the Nasher Museum’s podcast with Mexico City artist María Alós and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, the Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Listen to the Nasher Museum’s podcast with Mexico City artist Abraham Cruzvillegas.

IMAGE: From left, Trevor Schoonmaker, curator of contemporary art at the Nasher Museum; Julie Rodrigues Widholm, exhibition curator from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Mexico City artists María Alós and Abraham Cruzvillegas. Photo by  J Caldwell.

View a video about Escultura Social on this page.

The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Major support for Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City was generously provided by the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris.

Additional support was provided by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Karen and Steven Berkowitz; Anne and William J. Hokin; Abe Tomás Hughes II and Diana Girardi Karnas; The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund; and Jim and Rita Knox.

At the Nasher Museum, the exhibition was supported in part by a grant from the Council for the Arts, Duke University, with additional support provided by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; the North Carolina Arts Council; Jaclyn, Nelson and Kelly Braddy T’99; El Centro Hispano and the Latino Community Credit Union.

Official Hispanic Media Sponsor: Univision 40

TOP: Carlos Amorales, Useless Wonder, 2006. Animation on video, Installation: Double video projection on screens with sound from computer harddrive, 8 minutes. Image courtesy of Yvon Lambert, New York.