Abraham Cruzvillegas

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Abraham Cruzvillegas
Born Abraham Cruzvillegas
Mexico City, Mexico
Known for Sculpture, Video art, Installation, Painting

Abraham Cruzvillegas (born 1968, Mexico City) is a Mexican conceptual artist. He is known for his work with found objects.

Biography and works[edit]

Cruzvillegas was grew up in Ajusco, a district in the south of Mexico City. He studied Philosophy and Art at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He later became a professor and went on to teach Art History and Theory at UNAM.

As a sculptor and writer, Cruzvillegas began as a central participant in a new wave of conceptual art in Mexico City during the late 1980s and 90s, studying under Gabriel Orozco from 1987 to 1991. Orozco has been proposed as the "dominant influence" on his work.[1] Along with Orozco, Damian Ortega, Dr Lakra, and Minerva Cuevas, Cruzvillegas was considered part of a new movement in Latin American art (which has been compared to the YBA boom in Britain in the 1980s).[2][3]

Together with Gabriel Kuri, Lakra and Orozco, he participated in "Friday Workshops" (Taller de los Viernes) in the 1980s, a weekly meeting in which the artists met and collaborated.[4] As Cruzvillegas explained in the exhibition catalogue for 'Escultura Social: A New Generation of Art from Mexico City (2007);: "We learned together to discuss, criticise, and transform our work individually, with no programmes, marks, exams, diplomas or reprisals. We did not intend to become known, prepare for a show, go against the grain, make our presence felt as a group, or even make work … this was my education.".[5] This then developed into the artist-run space "Temistocles 44" in the 1990s.

From 2007 onwards, Cruzvillegas worked on a series of works exploring what he calls autoconstrucción, or self-construction. As described in Art Review, "autoconstrucción has been able to manifest in [...] many guises, places and modes: from small autonomous sculptures to large sculptural-cum-architectural installations; from mobile musical collaborations to an hourlong film, even a play. Autoconstrucción is multiplicity incarnate. Indeed, the term could be said to designate more of a spirit and an ethic than, say, a theory-driven aesthetic."[6] The works have been shown throughout America, Europe and Mexico. Elements of the Autoconstrucción project were shown (amongst others) at Tate Modern in March 2012, in the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford in 2011, at the Walker Art Center in 2013, and at the Haus der Kunst, Munich in 2014. His work is held in a number of collections, including Tate Modern, London[7] and MoMA, New York.[8]

From 2012, this project was accompanied by works around the theme of "autodestrucción", Cruzvillegas explained that through the autodestrucción works he "wanted to show how "Internationalism" or "Style" is something that is to be appropriated, customized, modified, adapted and even destroyed, according to specific, local, individual, subjective needs."[9]

Notable exhibitions[edit]

Cruzvillegas has shown his work in single and group exhibitions in a number of galleries across Europe, South America and the United States. In 1994, his work was shown in the Fifth Havana Biennial; in 2002 in the XXV São Paulo Biennial; in 2003 in the Fiftieth Venice Biennale; in 2005 in the 1st Torino Triennale; in 2008 in the Bienal de Cali, in Colombia; in the Tenth Havana Biennial, and the Seventh Bienal do Mercosul in Portoalegre. His work has been shown at the New Museum, New York and at Tate Modern in London. Cruzvillegas participated in ROUNDTABLE: The 9th Gwangju Biennale, which took place September to November 2012 in Gwangju, Korea. In August 2012, it was announced that Cruzvillegas had won the Fifth Annual Yanghyun Prize [10]

Reception and influences[edit]

For the 2002 São Paulo Biennial, Cruzvillegas wrote: "However art makes itself evident, it shall remain, above all, raw source material in all its natural, unstable, physical, chaotic and crystalline states: solid, liquid, colloidal and gaseous. It is the joy of energy."[11] Reviewing Cruzvillegas' 2003 show for the New York Times, Holland Cotter wrote, "In all Mr. Cruzvillegas's work, little is stated but much is said".[12]

Chris Sharp, writing in Art Review in January 2013, wrote: "his works are often united by an identifiable formal sensibility, whose predominantly found-object or poor-material aesthetic influence is as indebted to Robert Rauschenberg, David Hammons and Jimmie Durham as it is to Gabriel Orozco. The difference between them and Cruzvillegas, however, is the highly personal, specific and inherently protean programme to which his cultural and material universe adheres." [13]

Discussing his works, Niamh Coglan, writing for Aesthetica Magazine in February 2013, notes that "Works such as Aeropuerto Alterno (2002), A.C. Mobile (2008) or Sin Título / Untitled (1999), which directly references Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel (1913), exhibit a strong Duchampian element, not just for their aesthetic form but for appropriative elements", and goes on to state "Cruzvillegas does with material what Marcel Broodthaers and René Magritte did with words and linguistics".[14] Similarly, Gareth Harris, writing in The Art Newspaper in January 2014, notes: "With his vast range of dynamic assemblage sculptures meticulously built from found objects, the Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas has been dubbed the 21st-century equivalent of Marcel Duchamp." [15]

Residencies[edit]

  • 2007 Residency at Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbria, Italy[16]
  • 2008 Residency at Cove Park/CCA, Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2009 Residency at the Wattis Institute/CCA, San Francisco
  • 2010-2011 DAAD Artists in Berlin Residency Program

Bibliography[edit]

A list of recent publications include:

  • "Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstruccion Suites", Patricia Falguieres (Walker Art Center, 2013)
  • "100 Notes - 100 Thoughts Documenta 13", Abraham Cruzvillegas (Hatje Cantz, 2012)
  • "Autoconstruccion: The Book", Clara Kim, Jimmie Durham, Mark Godfrey, Ryan Inouye and Abraham Cruzvillegas (Redcat, 2009)
  • "Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autoconstruccion", Francis McKee and Abraham Cruzvillegas (CCA, 2008)
  • "Los Dos Amigos", Abraham Cruzvillegas and Dr Lakra (Turner/Unam, 2007)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Built from Life', Aesthetica Magazine, 1 February 2013, Retrieved on 16.6.14, http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/built-from-life
  2. ^ "[1]". Financial Times. Retrieved on 1 April 2011
  3. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/arts/design/dr-lakra-exhibits-tattoo-inspired-drawings-in-new-york.html New York Times, 24 March 2011, Retrieved on 1 April 2011]
  4. ^ 'Built from Life', Aesthetica Magazine, 1 February 2013, Retrieved on 16.6.14, http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/built-from-life
  5. ^ >'Built from Life', Aesthetica Magazine, 1 February 2013, Retrieved on 16.6.14, http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/built-from-life
  6. ^ http://artreview.com/features/abraham_cruzvillegas_profile/, accessed on 20 June 2014 at 17.08 GMT
  7. ^ https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/abraham-cruzvillegas-13142 retrieved 12 February 2014
  8. ^ http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=40921, retrieved 12 February 2014
  9. ^ http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/interviews/abraham-cruzvillegas/, accessed on 20 June 2014, at 17.08GMT
  10. ^ http://galleristny.com/2012/08/abraham-cruzvillegas-wins-88000-yanghyun-prize/ retrieved 15 November 2012
  11. ^ http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/found_and_lost/ Frieze Magazine, Retrieved 1 April 2011
  12. ^ Art in Review New York Times, 16 May 2003, retrieved on 1 April 2011
  13. ^ http://artreview.com/features/abraham_cruzvillegas_profile/ Art Review, January 2013, retrieved on 17 January 2013
  14. ^ 'Built from Life', Aesthetica Magazine, 1 February 2013, Retrieved on 16.6.14, http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/built-from-life
  15. ^ 'Mexico's 21st Century Duchamp', The Art Newspaper, Number 253, January 2014, p.30
  16. ^ http://www.civitella.org/fellows_personal.aspx?fellowid=332

External links[edit]