new-york

Mario Ybarra Jr.

Lehmann Maupin

Most of Mario Ybarra Jr.’s art to date mines concepts of invisibility or threat, posed as lost slices of urban history, disappeared architecture, or dog collars studded with spikes, for example. In a recent show at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ybarra dealt with the history of the “other” Wrigley Field—not the celebrated home of the Chicago Cubs but the demolished, largely forgotten (even in baseball circles) Wrigley Field in South Central LA, original home of the Los Angeles Angels. In writing on Ybarra, critics have emphasized his background (of Mexican descent, Ybarra was raised in Los Angeles) in relation to his study of the visual codes and aesthetics of disenfranchisement and loss. So it came as a surprise, then, that Ybarra Jr.’s latest theme was . . . squirrels.

Black squirrels, specifically. For some, “Black Squirrel Society” may have loosely recalled Ybarra and Karla Diaz’s 2006

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