I Am Not Your Mexican: curated by Eduardo Egea now on view at Ruiz-Healy Art

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I Am Not Your Mexican: curated by Eduardo Egea now on view at Ruiz-Healy Art
Mathias Goeritz, Mensaje, 1958-62. Signed on the reverse. Hammered brass and metal fasteners on board, 24 x 36 3/4 x 1/2 in., 61 x 93.5 x 1.3 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Ruiz-Healy Art has opened I Am Not Your Mexican, two concurrent group exhibitions, at our San Antonio and New York City galleries. The exhibitions are curated by writer Eduardo Egea and feature artists Jesse Amado, Mathias Goeritz, Hersúa, Willy Kautz - Jippies Asquerosos, Fernando Polidura, and Teresa Serrano. The exhibitions will include historical works by Goeritz, Hersúa, and Serrano. I Am Not Your Mexican opened at our New York City gallery on Wednesday, May 24th, and the exhibition will open at our San Antonio gallery on Wednesday, June 7, with an opening reception from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.

Eduardo Egea notes, “Western Art built an artistic canon that influenced the rest of the world. Minimalism is one of the Post-War movements whose influence continues; within this movement the artist Eva Hesse created a Post-Minimalism practice that laid the foundation for its expansion. But how have artists from other latitudes dealt with the overwhelming dominance of Western contemporary art? Assimilating and transforming these influences, México has been, for decades, a rich laboratory to subvert Minimalism through Post-Minimalist practices that seek to give meaning to the timeless but rigid Minimalist geometric forms of which this exhibition gives an account.”

The exhibitions are titled after San Antonio based artist Jesse Amado’s series I Am Not Your Mexican, a title inspired by the writings of James Baldwin and the documentary film I Am Not Your Negro (2016). The film offers a history of the systematic marginalization of Black American historical figures and events through their misrepresentation (or under- representation) in mainstream historical narratives. The title’s reference serves as an entry point to understand art that may at first appear to be highly conceptual or purely abstract. Instead, the I Am Not Your Mexican series compels us to reconsider the art historical canon for the twenty-first century. The series is particularly important for its innovative use of chicharrón (pork rind) or Styrofoam fast food containers, products with both cultural and social-economic commentary.

Other works in the exhibition feature the enduring influence of Post-Minimalism in Mexican and Mexican-American artists' works and show how these artists have expanded Post-Minimalism tenets. Using gilded metal Mathias Goeritz endows cryptic Minimalist geometric shapes with spiritual meaning in works like Mensaje forging geometry to a signification. Hersúa's work develops the interaction between viewer and sculpture with great originality and creates a personal version of Post-Minimalism by de-geometrizing his work. In Antipoema, Hersúa invites interaction between the viewer and the artwork through moveable panels that cover and uncover the text. Teresa Serrano works to deconstruct Minimalist machismo by endowing it with feminine and organic forms in sculptures as seen in Umbilical Cord and Goddess of Fertility. Willy Kautz - Jippies Asquerosos expands on the spiritual and materialistic implications of gold in his works Alethèia and Noli Me Tangere while Fernando Polidura uses a combination of vinyl paint, paper, and shrink wrap film to mimic skin-like textures.

As stated by Eduardo Egea, “Although this exhibition recognizes Western art contributions and shows how these legacies have been appropriated and adapted by the current Latin American post-periphery, the cultural knowledge of the “first world” has also been improved, innovated, and expanded by the art produced in México over the last decades. This exhibition is a glimpse into a fascinating, international macro-cultural phenomenon.”

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