press release

The Walker Art Center presents Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, the first contextual exhibition on the multi-faceted practice of Abraham Cruzvillegas. A key artist among his generation, Cruzvillegas has garnered much attention for his riveting assemblage sculptures made of found materials that are inspired by the social and economic realities of everyday life. Focusing on the last ten years of his practice, the exhibition will be presented at the Walker from March 23rd through September 22nd, and will subsequently travel to the Haus der Kunst in Munich; and the Jumex Foundation in Mexico City and Museo Amparo in Puebla who will jointly present the exhibition in Mexico.

Interested in what he calls autoconstrucción or "self-construction," Cruzvillegas locates his practice within the urban landscape of his childhood home outside Mexico City, where structures are in a constant state of change as materials become available and as necessity dictates. The roots of his sculptural work begin here—in the "definitely unfinished" characteristics of his family's house. While echoing art-historical precedents (Duchampian transformation of everyday objects, arte povera's use of impoverished materials, and the uncanny compositions of assemblage), Cruzvillegas employs improvisational strategies, collaborative relationships, and alternate systems of production to create work that collapses the usual boundaries between art and craft, the handmade and the manufactured, artistic intent, and experimentation. For Cruzvillegas, autoconstrucción is a dynamic framework for a way of building in which scarcity leads to ingenuity and becomes an apropos metaphor for the construction of one's own identity.

Culled from public and private collections in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico, the exhibition will include an important body of sculptures exhibited at the 2003 Venice Biennale, in a section titled Everyday Altered curated by Gabriel Orozco; a series of sculptural installations created during a six-year period of residencies where he created work on site using local materials and resources; and more recent experiments that expand his thinking on autoconstrucción through film (developed with a film cooperative), video (in which the artist's parents narrate their own experiences), performance (collaborative theatrical play with music), and a source material archive room. Shown together for the first time, the works in the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue will illustrate the motivations and influences of his Cruzvillegas's rich practice, as well as demonstrate the indelible contributions he has made in the last ten years.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Autoconstrucción: The Film—an abstract portrait of the volcanic landscape and unfinished architecture of Ajusco—will be screened in the Walker's lecture room on the second Saturday of every month starting in May.

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites is curated by Clara Kim, Senior Curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center.

only in german

Abraham Cruzvillegas
The Autoconstruccion Suites
Kurator: Clara Kim