'esfuerzo' by Ektor Garcia now on view at James Fuentes Gallery

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'esfuerzo' by Ektor Garcia now on view at James Fuentes Gallery
Installation view from the exhibition 'esfuerzo' now on view at James Fuentes.

NEW YORK.- James Fuentes has opened, EKTOR GARCIA, esfuerzo. Each of ektor garcia's exhibitions are more like a marker of a moment of pause in his work, rather than a presentation of something complete or discrete. In this way his works are evidence of a continual natural progression, as things build on top of each other, evolving. In relation to the specific time and place of this newest exhibition; it marks a cyclical continuation of the garcia’s presentations at the New Museum in 2017 and SculptureCenter in 2019—both of which moments in the artist's life when he was traveling a lot, largely moving between Mexico, being on the road, and New York, specifically. This is the case once again, today:

For this show garcia traveled from his studio in Mexico City, suitcases filled with materials, to occupy the basement space below the gallery at 55 Delancey St in the lead up to the exhibition's opening to the public. He has also retrieved objects previously exhibited or in storage—for example a 15-ft copper link piece recently exhibited at the Henry Art Museum has been broken into smaller pieces, added to and reconfigured into a new work(s). The exhibition title, esfuerzo translates to effort; as in a big push, like a birth, which feels apt for what the artist does. Pieces come together little by little over a long period of time; and the work comprises many small parts that each reflect his esfuerzo in making them. Another translation for esfuerzo could be output; and, shortened, fuerza means strength. Via his artistic practice, garcia is the conduit or vessel through which that life-force runs, resulting in an output that is this body of work. garcia is constantly making, hands always moving; this is simply part of how he lives his life. The work therefore isn't made toward constructing a larger conceptual conceit; instead, its making is its meaning, the working is the work. Its presence in the space is evidence of all this; making room for it to be approached and even interceded, we inherently take part in the work's life cycle, even potentially changing its course by entering this domain.

This sense of force, therefore, isn't tied to garcia's hand only, but relates externally as well. One piece in the show, cochinilla (2022), is woven from wool dyed red from the shell of the cochineal insect. Last year it was installed on the exterior of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico, and upon taking it down garcia’s realized it had become sun bleached unexpectedly. With other pieces he more deliberately pushes, forcing change, for example by using a blowtorch against copper to catalyze an oil-spill patina. Over time, crochet has been one constant; a crocheted piece needs time, and then it meets time. In his words: "The materials are vibrating back and forth, taking turns. That is how they evolve." And so although the works reference the past they do not prioritize it; likewise the future. Rather, in the style of the ouroboros, they are cyclical, perpetual, and most generous about the present.

ektor garcia (b. 1985, Red Bluff, California; lives and works nomadically) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from Columbia University, New York. He has presented solo exhibitions at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich; SculptureCenter, New York; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; Empty Gallery, Hong Kong; Cooper Cole, Toronto; and Kurimanzutto, Mexico City; and has been presented in group exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; New Museum, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Prospect 5 New Orleans; 80WSE, New York; Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; and LAXART, Los Angeles; among other venues. In 2021 he was artist-in-residence at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum, New York and Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

For further inquiries about this exhibition that will end on April 23rd, please contact James Fuentes at james@jamesfuentes.com or Katrin Lewinsky at kl@jamesfuentes.com.

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