Assembling works from materials sourced in both Chicago and Michoacán, his ancestral home
in the West of Mexico, artist Abraham Cruzvillegas meditates on the nature of rootedness and
drift in The Ballad of Etc. Fabricated on site, the constructions draw upon the traditional
Mexican lacquer technique known as “maque” to produce new imagery that is juxtaposed with
found materials and products made by Chicago’s skilled workers—cast concrete, stone carving,
and carpentry. The assemblages take off from conceptual sketches drawn by the artist with
recurring motifs such as the intersecting circles of a Venn Diagram or linear
polyhedrons—forms that suggest a series of possible social structures. The migratory
connections between Chicago’s laboring class and Mexico’s indigenous peoples reflect in the
contingent nature of Cruzvillegas’s fabrications—each assume temporary configurations that
can be dismantled easily and then reassembled at will. Similar to the autoconstruccións, or self-
constructions, for which Cruzvillegas is known, this exhibition considers shelter and home by
questioning the value of repurposed resources. As Cruzvillegas explains, “these [elements]
compose a beautiful and problematic aesthetic discussion about borders, intolerance, and
Abraham Cruzvillegas (b. 1968) studied Pedagogy from 1986 to 1990 at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City while simultaneously attending Gabriel Orozco’s workshop Taller de los viernes. In 2012, he was the 5th laureate of the Yanghyun Prize and in 2006 he received the Prix Altadis d’ arts plastiques.
His most important projects and exhibitions include: Autorreconstrucción: Social Tissue, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2018); Sensory Spaces 12: Abraham Cruzvillegas, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2017); The Water Trilogy 2: Autodefensión Microtonal Obrera Campesina Estudiantil Metabolista Descalza, Ginza Maison Hermès: Le Forum, Tokyo (2017); Autoconstriction approximante vibrante rétroflexe, Carré d’Art – musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes, France (2016); Empty Lot, Tate Modern, London (2015); Autodestrucción 7: Deshaciendo el nudo, Museo de Arte de Lima – MALI, Peru (2015); Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autoconstrucción, Museo Jumex, Mexico City and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2014); Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2014) and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2013); Self Builder’s Groove, Final Project for the Berliner Künstlerprogramm residency, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Berlin (2011); Autoconstrucción: The Film, REDCAT CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts (2009); The Magnificent Seven: Abraham Cruzvillegas, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009); Autoconstrucción: The Soundtrack, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, United Kingdom (2008), among others.
His work has also a part of the following biennials: 21st Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2018); X Bienal de Nicaragua – Fundación Ortíz Gurdián, Managua (2016); Sharjah Biennial 12, United Arab Emirates (2015); 12 Bienal de la Habana, Cuba (2015); 9th Shanghai Biennale, China (2012); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 12. İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (2011); 6th SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, South Korea (2010); 10 Bienal de la Habana, Cuba (2009); 54th Venice Biennial (2003).
Abraham Cruzvillegas lives and works in Mexico City and Paris. He is represented by galería kurimanzutto in Mexico City, Thomas Dane Gallery in London, Regan Projects in Los Angeles, and Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris.