Mario García Torres

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Mario García Torres
  • Artist

Mario García Torres (born 1975 in Monclova) is a Mexican conceptual artist. He has used various media, including film, sound, performance, ‘museographic installations’ and video as a means to create his art. García Torres often cites untold or ‘minor’ histories, with a predilection for avant-garde art and music from the 1960s and 70s, as departing points for his work. He has re-created historical exhibitions and has even ‘completed’ unfinished artworks, often blurring original and reenactment, past and present, while questioning universal ideas about truth, certainty and time –all core ideas in the development of his body of work. During the early 2000s García Torres stopped dating his works; In so doing, he undermines the narrative of an oeuvre and career as a progressive evolution over time. n.d. (no date) often accompanies, since then, the work's title, and has become a signature of the artist. García Torres currently works in Mexico City and Los Angeles.


Mario García Torres was born in the Mexican city of Monclova in 1975.[1] The interest of Mario Garcia Torres for art started a very young age, as he accompanied his mother in their hometown's museum, where she volunteered as a guide.[2] He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Monterrey in Mexico in 1998.[1][3] While a student in Monterrey, he started getting interested in conceptual art.[4] García Torres cited a group of his professors that were linked with American abstract expressionism as an influence in that direction.[4] Before continuing his studies in the United States, and earned his Master of Fine Arts by the California Institute of the Arts in 2005, as a Fulbright grantee, the artist worked as an “electronic arts curator” at the Museo Carrillo Gil in México City .[5] In 2007 he received the Cartier Award at the Frieze Art Fair.[6][7] He is a member of the Artists Board of SOMA -a Mexico City arts organization.


García Torres work negotiates obscure events associated with conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s, with the use of a variety of media.[8] His work, based on past events around the history of conceptual art, tries to create new ideas and meanings through them.[9] García Torres uses minor events for the creation of his narratives, as he believes that "some of them still have the potential to trigger questions both regarding their own nature, and regarding historiography".[10]

In "In Some Places I Had Seen Before Moving to L.A.", he presents locations around L.A. in an attempt to reproduce the image he had about the city, based in what he saw in films or conceptual art works.[11] His first solo exhibition in the United States presented "What Happens in Halifax Stays in Halifax".[12] It was triggered during a conversation about art concepts with Jan Mot,[13] and was initiated as a historic research project covering a 1969 art project which was assigned to NSCAD University students in David Askevold's class by artist Robert Barry.[10] García Torres' work consisted of black and white slides and produced a reunion of the 1969 project class.[10][12]

García Torres' Share-e-Nau Wanderings (A Film Treatment) was the artist's first attempt to approach the life and work of Alighiero Boetti, by creating a series of fictitious fax sheets, describing García Torres' imaginary trip in Kabul.[14][15]

The project would occupy seven years of research and the production of a number of works. "¿Alguna vez has visto la nieve caer?" is a 50-minute slide show of black and white photographs of Kabul, taken by as anonymous photographers, and accompanied by sound.[16] The project comprised photographs taken in the seventies, but the artist placed his work after the September 11 attacks, in an attempt to mingle different times and trigger the audience to question what it sees.[16] With "Tea", García Torres documents in film his journey to One Hotel, the hotel operated by Alighiero Boetti in Kabul, further exploring his knowledge of Kabul and Boetti while tackling the also tense political climate in his own country.[17][18]

With "Je ne sais si c'en est la cause", and "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" García Torres gave documentation for two past works: Martin Kippenberger's Museum of Modern Art Syros, and Daniel Buren's in-situ mosaics in Saint Croix.[19][20] His work "My Westphalia Days" is a road movie containing fictitious events of the four-day disappearance of Michael Asher's trailer, which was presented in Skulptur Projekte Münster since 1977.[21]

"Unspoken Dailies", is a 66-minute feature film, showing actor Diego Luna reading the film's script written by García Torres for the first time while being filmed in an artist studio in Mexico City.[22] Alan Smithee, the pseudonym directors used to disown projects they were dissatisfied with, is personified in "I am not a Flopper".[23] The work is a monologue which García Torres co-wrote with philosopher Aaron Schuster, and is an effort to discuss created and invented concepts.[23]

In "R.R. and the Expansion of the Tropics" Garcia Torres created what he calls a "museographic essay"; a narrative of the last three decades in South Florida, combining elements on social issues in the area, climate change, and Robert Rauschenberg.[24] A similar work was his contribution to the 2014 Berlin Biennial, for which he displayed a large number of elements in an underground room at the Ethnologistches Museum surrounding the work and legacy of musician Conlon Nancarrow. “Sounds Like Isolation to Me” also included a collaboration with Berlin pianist Nils Frahm.[25]

List of exhibitions and collections[edit]

García Torres has exhibited his work in several museums and biennales around the world, both in solo and collective exhibitions.[5][26][27] He is represented by neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Jan Mot, Brussels, Franco Noero, Turin, and Taka Ishii, Tokyo.[28]

Individual exhibitions
Collective exhibitions
Public collections
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Musee de la Ville de Paris, France
  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
  • Centre Pompidou, France
  • Guggenheim, New York
  • Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  • Tate Modern, London
  • Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico
  • Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico


  1. ^ a b Smith Lake, Kendal (January 22, 2015). "The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Presents FOCUS: Mario García Torres". The Modern. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  2. ^ Sánchez, Ivonne (April 3, 2009). "Mario García Torres: arte, reflexión y emociones" (in Spanish). rfi Español. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sounds Like Isolation to Me, Mario García Torres at Proyecto Siqueiros: La Tallera, Cuernavaca, Mexico". Art Elsewhere. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Toledo, Manuel (March 27, 2008). "El museo abstracto de Coahuila" (in Spanish). BBC Mundo. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Hammer Projects: Mario Garcia Torres". Hammer Museum. September 13, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  6. ^ Knapp, Jonathan L. (February 20, 2009). "MATRIX 227: Mario Garcia Torres". e-flux. Retrieved November 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "My Westphalia Days by Mario Garcia Torres". The Art Fund. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "FOCUS: Mario García Torres". The Modern. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Mario Garcia Torres". White Cube. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c "CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts Opens The Exhibition Formerly Known as Passengers: 2.11 Mario Garcia Torres". Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  11. ^ Ting, Selina. "Interview : Mario Garcia Torres". initiArt Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "What Happens in Halifax Stays in Halifax". BAM/PFA. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  13. ^ "What Happened in Halifax: An Interview with Mario Garcia Torres". September 26, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Lucarelli, Fosco (August 19, 2013). "The Boetti lesson (Searching for One Hotel in Kabul): Mario García Torres's "Have you Ever Seen the Snow?"". Socks Studio. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  15. ^ "Mario García Torres Share-e-Nau Wanderings (A Film Treatment), 2006". Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Mario García Torres busca el pasado a través de la fotografía" (in Spanish). El Informador. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Calendar: Film Screening: Tea by Mario Garcia Torres". Pérez Art Museum Miami. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  18. ^ Tagliafierro, Marco. "Mario García Tores MUSEO MADRE". Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  19. ^ Fitzpatrick, Chris (April 13, 2009). "Reference Material: Mario Garcia Torres in Conversation". Art in America Magazine. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  20. ^ Hilder, Jamie. "Reading Mario García Torres at the Berkeley Art Museum". Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  21. ^ Pellatt, Corey (July 11, 2012). "Towner presents major UK premiere of international contemporary art". Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  22. ^ "Mario Garcia Torres "Unspoken Dailies"". Taki Ishi Gallery. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Mario Garcia Torres". ARTFORUM. September 12, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  24. ^ "Mario Garcia Torres R.R. and the Expansion of the Tropics". Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  25. ^ "8th Berlin Biennale, Sounds Like Isolation to Me". Nils Frahm. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  26. ^ "FOCUS: Mario García Torres at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth". Daily Serving. May 17, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  27. ^ "Poor Art – Rich Legacy. Arte Povera and parallel practices 1968–2015". Museum of Contemporary Art. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  28. ^ "GALLERY INFORMATION". Taka Ishii Gallery / タカ・イシイギャラリー.

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