Critics’ Picks

Tania Pérez Córdova, “Rain” (detail), 2022–, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Tania Pérez Córdova, “Rain” (detail), 2022–, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Mexico City

Tania Pérez Córdova

Museo Tamayo
Paseo de la Reforma No. 51
October 1, 2022–February 26, 2023

“Generalización” (Generalization), a decade-spanning survey of Tania Pérez Córdova’s work and her first solo museum show in Mexico, beautifully interweaves the artist’s long held interests in time, materiality, and nature while quietly staging a conversation with the museum itself. In the small outdoor garden that houses Tamayo’s memorial plaque, delicate gold chains dangle almost invisibly above—and pierce through—the leafy palms of a concrete planter, the chains’ swaying movement gradually scarring the fronds (“Rain,” 2022–). Indoors, longer chains, some with seeds and pits, others with coins, puncture plastic replicas of the selfsame plants outside. Elsewhere, bronze casts of windows (such as This Shop Went Out of Business and Memory of a Room, both 2022) further Pérez Córdova’s exploration of the materiality of sculpture through the melting and recasting of objects, defamiliarizing them and rendering them strange. While the survey includes Portrait of an Unknown Woman Passing By, 2019, and You, Me, Us, Them, 2022—works that give rise to subtle, periodic performances in the museum (lucky viewers may spot a woman wearing a dress that matches the vase, or someone with multihued contacts walking around the galleries)—it is also refreshing to find post-Covid humor discreetly trickling in. 1:33 pm and 1:34 pm, both 2022, two large sheets of glass pressing together everyday detritus, bear witness to the march of time while suggesting something like a tongue-in-cheek, domesticated version of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, 1915–23, while Strike, 2018–22, a homemade loaf of bread filled with cigarette butts, alludes to Italian bakers’ strikes and to the yeasty obsessions that flourished during the height of the pandemic.