Fabiola Iza

  • View of “Pictures.”
    picks October 25, 2022

    Cristina Garrido

    KS

    Laconically titled “Paintings”, this exhibition by Cristina Garrido comprises a series of hand-colored prints of famous photographs documenting Conceptual art performances. Sticking to the original size of her sources, Garrido draws on her training as an academic painter to inject the compositions with color, creating to a newly vivified gallery of uncommitted iconoclasts––artists who, while aiming to divert the focus from the art object, reified a single image that was later swallowed, once again, by art history and the art market.

    As a strategy, the introduction of a wider palette performs a

  • Nicole Chaput, Fósil de una señorita (Lady’s Fossil), 2021, oil on polypropylene paper, polyester foam, latex bows, satin and polyester thread, 26 x 18 3/4 x 2 1/2".
    picks January 16, 2022

    Nicole Chaput

    Nicole Chaput’s solo exhibition “Atomic Venus” convenes a boisterous ensemble of female characters (or, more fittingly, entities) performing impossible contortions. Their bones, veins, muscles, and viscera pulsate through their translucent flesh, yet there is no sense of violence. And while they may indulge in high fashion—painted nails, hair accessories, stilettos, and jewelry abound—these chimeric figurations seem alien to any normative notions of beauty.

    The artist infuses her subjects with the spirit of popular culture (as reminiscent of French artist Orlan as of villains from a Disney animated

  • Lorena Ancona, Máscara de agua (Water Mask), 2021, copper, ceramics, Maya blue pigment, chrome and copper enamel, whitewash, cotton, henequen, 78 3⁄4 × 47 1⁄4 × 2 3⁄8".

    Lorena Ancona

    One part of Jesse Lerner’s 1999 essay film Ruins tells the riveting story of Brigído Lara, a ceramicist from the Mexican state of Veracruz who was accused of trafficking pre-Columbian sculptures in the 1970s. Although he claimed to be the author of the artifacts in question, he was arrested. While in custody, he proved his assertion by convincing a guard to bring him water and clay from his home village. Then he crafted what any specialist on pre-Columbian cultures would accept as an ancient piece. The consequences of this event were huge: Many objects were removed from the collections of major

  • Paloma Rosenzweig, Dientes (Teeth), 2021, dry-felted merino sheep wool, wire frame, 7 7⁄8 × 17 1⁄2 × 15 3⁄4".

    Paloma Rosenzweig

    I cannot even begin to guess the number of times I have seen a person’s throat cut in films. However, I remember becoming aware of the vulnerability of one’s (female) body through one particular and much more austere image than any movie had to offer: Alberto Giacometti’s 1932 sculpture Femme égorgée (Woman with Her Throat Cut). Displayed on the floor, an abstracted, insect-like figure lies with its legs wide open, with rib cage and breasts exposed, its arched, elongated throat accentuating the fall of the now-inert tiny nodule-shaped head. This suggestive image, unlike all that cinematic gore,

  • View of “Instant Classic,” 2021.
    picks September 28, 2021

    Daniela de la Torre

    Twenty-four-year-old Daniela de la Torre wants to be the best Conceptual artist in the world. This deceptively simple premise drives Instant Classic, 2021, a Hollywood-ready fantasy in which the artist realizes her aspirations. Mimicking the generic structure of a rags-to-riches movie, the four-minute film—and centerpiece of the eponymous exhibition—documents our leading lady’s overnight rise to fame, culminating in a competition at a spoofed Venice Biennale. Clad in a chartreuse leotard, de la Torre performs a routine to a Gwen Stefani song before a row of dubiously qualified judges, the

  • Mónica Mayer, Wednesday (from the series “Diary of Everyday Acts of Violence”), 1984, gouache, ink, pastel and photocopy on paper, 27 1/2 x 35 3/8".
    interviews August 06, 2021

    Mónica Mayer

    A pioneer of feminist art in Mexico, Mónica Mayer uses humor and satire to address gender-related topics largely absent from public discourse. Intimidades . . . o no. Arte, vida y feminismo (Intimate Matters . . . or Not. Art, Life, and Feminism, Editorial Diecisiete) surveys her prolific writing practice, a vital extension of her artistic output for more than four decades. At a time when gender-based violence is surging throughout Mexico, Mayer’s writing reminds us that the feminist struggle—in the art world and beyond—is always waged on the battleground of language.

    I AM AN ARTIST WHO WRITES

  • Verónica Gerber Bicecci, Importa qué materias usamos para pensar otras materias (It Matters What Matters We Use to Think Other Matters With), 2020, ink-jet print on cotton paper. 18 1⁄2 × 18 1⁄2". From the series “La resistencia” (The Resistance), 2020.

    Verónica Gerber Bicecci

    “Imagine you are lying on Freud’s couch,” historian John Forrester urges the reader in a 1997 essay on the father of psychoanalysis and his compulsion for collecting. “What can you see?” I envision figurines from ancient cultures, small busts of mythical characters, and paintings, in all of which Freud would find the inspiration for his theories of dreams and the unconscious. He meticulously crafted a complex worldview on the basis of those fragments of clay, marble, stone, and metal, as from the ancient fabrics hanging on his walls. Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s exhibition “Descalzos los pies, los

  • Jorge Méndez Blake, Haiku para estacionamien (Haiku for Parking), 2020, automobile and books.
    slant December 11, 2020

    Switching Gears

    AS ELSEWHERE, the impact of social distancing on Mexico City’s artistic activity has been relentless. This year, the closest thing we have to the city’s annual Gallery Weekend, a hectic, weeklong affair canceled due to Covid-19, is the novel initiative “Museo Autoservicio” (Self-Service Museum). Conceived by curator and Mexican modern art scholar Daniel Garza Usabiaga, the project’s first outing, titled “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear” and on through December 20, appoints itself (falsely) as “the first-ever drive-thru exhibition.” Installed in the underground parking lot of

  • Diego Pérez, El sabueso del Vasco (The Hound of Vasco), 2020, carved lava stone, 26 3/4 × 21 5/8 × 22 1/2".

    Diego Pérez

    An unusual tension between sand and stone propelled Diego Pérez’s exhibition “Historia de arena” (History of Sand). Pérez used sand to make three maquettes (Mesa infinita [Infinite Mesa] 1, 2, and 3, 2020) that evoked archetypal edifices with staircases leading to the sky. The material also featured prominently in two photographic series—“Apuntes para la mesa infinita” (Notes for Infinite Mesa) and “Apuntes para la mesa infinita. Vista panorámica” (Notes for Infinite Mesa: Panoramic View), both 2020—that portray stepped pyramids vaguely resembling those of ancient Mesoamerica in the form of

  • Camel Collective, Gated Commune, 2018, video, black-and-white, 9 minutes 3 seconds.
    picks July 02, 2020

    Camel Collective

    This online exhibition, a nine-minute video essay titled Gated Commune, 2018, is an unsettling sendup of modernist problem-solving that befits our dystopian moment. Over grainy black-and-white footage of insects, polluted landscapes, and melting icecaps, a female voice-over flatly recounts the attempts of two camps—“the futurists” and the “neo-primitivists,” stand-ins for the avant-garde as a whole—to organize cities that seemingly invoke Situationist concepts like psychogeography and unitary urbanism, or others that could be closer to Yves Klein’s zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility.

  • View of “Beatriz Zamora,” 2020.

    Beatriz Zamora

    Determination is the backbone of Beatriz Zamora’s practice: Since 1977, she has devoted her career exclusively to “El negro” (The Black), a continuing monochromatic quest. Defined by the artist as “a cosmic theory,” the series is grounded on the conception of the color black as an absolute. This formulation, drawn both from physics and from mysticism, engages with the color as a primordial source of life and silence—an originary void. The result has been more than three thousand black abstract paintings that, for evident reasons, have sometimes been reductively compared to the pictorial language

  • Diego Rivera, Paisaje zapatista (Zapatista Landscape), 1915, oil on canvas, 56 x 48".
    picks February 04, 2020

    “Emiliano. Zapata despues de Zapata”

    Mónica Castillo’s Plato de Zapata (Zapata’s Dish), 1987, depicts the severed head of Emiliano Zapata, the worshipped agrarian leader of the Mexican Revolution, served on a platter surrounded by forks and knives. In a country where the past is idealized to such extent that it becomes fixed, its (male) protagonists turned into secular saints, the vision is, to say the least, a strident one. However, in this exhibition—whose discourse has been blunted by histrionic protesters—curator Luis Vargas Santiago successfully argues that Zapata’s popularity eclipses his untouchability: Culling over one