Gaby Cepeda

  • Lewis Hammond

    Looking at Lewis Hammond’s deeply introverted works online before I ventured out of the house earlier this summer to see his show “Still Life,” I could imagine the oil paint recoiling from the overhead fluorescent lights, suspecting their glare would cover entire sections of the canvas with a flat, pale sheen. In the flesh, however, the paintings are fleshy, or flesh-threatening: cuddles, thorns, knives, bites, and spikes. The British artist’s works are big, their depictions intense. His images looked out of place in a tiny gallery that mostly specializes in small-format works.

    In Kyur (all works

  • Where we’re at: Mexico City, São Paulo

    MARIO GARCÍA TORRES

    MEXICO CITY

    DURING THE MONTH of August, the Museo Anahuacalli and the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City received solo visitors, allowing them to freely wander the premises by themselves for forty minutes each. Called Museos Uno en Uno, the initiative was a way to expand museological practices to respond to the emotional needs of the Covid-drained-art-hungry public. It was only possible through the work of a disinterested group of museum professionals, art enthusiasts, and artists, many of whom volunteered as museum guards.

    Another support structure in Mexico City’s art world was

  • “Elements of Vogue”

    Elements of Vogue. Un caso de estudio de performance radical” (Elements of Vogue: A Case Study in Radical Performance) welcomes the visitor with a showcase of the dancer D’relle West twirling euphorically in the streets of London during a solidarity protest that erupted shortly after the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. Just two more videos of voguing appear in the exhibition, in a section at the end that brings together works of contemporary art whose themes overlap with key concerns of voguing and ballroom culture: pop music, queerness, fashion, and cultural appropriation.

  • Danh Vo

    Entering Danh Vo’s exhibition, visitors immediately faced a scaffolding-like wooden construction lined with foil mirrors. The gallery contained three such structures, made up of wooden beams supporting walls of intermittent mirrors, and the result was disorienting: One’s body was constantly reflected, exposed as part of the show. The mirrored panels of the first of these enclosures were mostly covered by a thin coat of mint-colored paint, with just the bottom part in one corner left untouched, so that one could see one’s feet moving around the room. I knew by reading about Vo’s exhibition this

  • Cristina Tufiño

    “It matters what ideas we use to think other ideas,” according to the anthropologist Marilyn Strathern, as quoted by Donna J. Haraway in her 2016 book Staying with the Trouble. This sentence reverberated in my mind as I walked through Cristina Tufiño’s first solo show in Mexico. Titled “Dancing at the End of the World,” the exhibition was spun from many ideas, and from materials both solid and incorporeal: first of all, from a scent, a nostalgic, luxuriant, almost funerary aroma concocted by the Escuela del Olor (School of Smell), a Puerto Rican project run by Adelaida Ortiz-Chiqués and Chaveli

  • “Dar forma al tiempo”

    The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Lima used to feel half-abandoned. Erected on the edge of a picturesque artificial pond in a beloved neighborhood park, it was immediately cursed with the resentment of the community it allegedly served. Since opening its doors in 2013, it has struggled to find its raison d’être. But since a major shakeup of the institution’s senior staff last year and the arrival of a new head curator, Giuliana Vidart its profile has started to change; word of her good work at the beleaguered museum has spread around town.

    Dar forma al tiempo. Miradas contemporáneas a la cerámica

  • “CARLOS ARIAS VICUÑA: LA TRAMA (AUTO) BIOGRÁFICA: UN ARCHIVO EN TRÁNSITO”

    Curated by Cynthia Francica

    Carlos Arias Vicuña left his home country of Chile as a young boy, fleeing with his family in 1975, two years after Pinochet was forcibly installed as president. He returned in the 1980s to study fine art at the University of Chile in Santiago but has since lived in Mexico, where he built his career and gained recognition, especially for his embroideries. This show will introduce Chilean audiences to sixteen of his key pieces dating from the ’90s to 2018. The artist’s choice of embroidery as his medium challenges preconceived notions of gendered labor; he extends this

  • picks June 11, 2019

    Sergio Zevallos

    Sergio Zevallos’s art is entirely formulaic. Not as in predictable, but in the sense that each element complicates everything around it. On display here are pieces from three separate but related projects. One series, “Haití,” 2018–19, reworks a line from the 1805 Constitution of Hayti: “The Haytians shall hence forward be known only by the generic appellation of Blacks.” Zevallos runs with it in seven broadsheet pieces, developing a chain of reasoning across three phases: a sentence, an image, and a signatory entity. “Humanism shall hence forward be known only by the generic appellation of

  • Héctor Zamora

    As objects, the individual pieces in Héctor Zamora’s exhibition “Movimientos emisores de existencia” (Existence-Emitting Movements) were intriguing. Gathered together in a large oblong island at the center of the gallery, they were clay forms that looked like terra-cotta shells but were in fact vases, the kind that many cultures around the world have historically used to store essentials such as water and oil. These vases, however, would never be employed for such purposes. Zamora had 650 of them put on the floor when they were still fresh, unfired clay. He then, in a performance on the opening

  • picks March 07, 2019

    “Fraccionar”

    The best piece in this group show is, arguably, not a work of art. It is a miniature folding screen featuring six panels jointed together, each with a different image of the transcendental beauty of the supermodel Iman. The curiosity rests on its own wooden table, to the right of a massive colonial-period painting of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. That both of these objects are right in front of Luis Barragán’s bed, and that he would have opened his eyes every morning to the Virgin Mary receiving civilization-changing news as well as to the beauty of Iman, is, to me, remarkable. Even better

  • Roni Horn

    A pair of serene yet stern portraits welcomed the viewer into Kurimanzutto’s airy space—the same short gray hair, white T-shirt, focused blue eyes, and flat, contented smile were duplicated in two, possibly identical, white-framed images. Portraying Roni Horn, these photographs demanded to be observed and analyzed; they asked for a deliberation: Were they really identical? Was every hair, freckle and shadow in the exact same place? More important, can two objects ever be absolutely identical while remaining distinct? This question of sameness and difference, and of the possibility of stability

  • picks December 31, 2018

    “La Cabeza que Mató a Todos”

    For this group exhibition—which includes nine artists, various media, and a wide generational scope—Agustina Ferreyra has facilitated works’ shifting and echoing reflections, providing a kaleidoscopic—joyous, multiple—view of the different ways in which we perform ourselves through our bodies.

    Among the high points is Madeline Santil’s gray canvases from her 2018 series “Sexualizar la geometría?” (Can Geometry Be Sexualized?). They are pierced by purple, vibrating sex toys, cheekily overlapping the playful possibilities of abstraction with the contemporary aesthetics of the optimized orgasm.