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Abraham Cruzvillegas presents "Hi, how are you, Gonzo?" at Aspen Art Museum, Colorado

Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, USA
October 18, 2019 – January 26, 2020

The Aspen Art Museum presents Abraham Cruzvillegas’s exhibition Hi, how are you, Gonzo?, beginning Friday, October 18, 2019, through Sunday, January 26, 2020, in AAM Galleries 4, 5, 6, and the AAM Crown Commons. An exhibition conceived in close collaboration with the Contemporary Austin, Hi, how are you, Gonzo?, is co-organized by the AAM’s Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO and Director Heidi Zuckerman and the Contemporary Austin’s Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs Heather Pesanti. On view in Austin March 30 through July 14, 2019, the dual presentation of Hi, how are you, Gonzo? not only highlights Cruzvillegas’s concept of autoconstrucción (“self-construction”) as inspired by the informal, vernacular architecture of his childhood Mexico City neighborhood, but also the artist’s ongoing interest in transformation, collaboration, and improvisation. Focusing on play, interactivity, and local communities, Cruzvillegas also deploys this approach as a way of celebrating the ingenuity and invention that arises from adverse circumstances and as he addresses broader issues of cultural identity and economic disparity.

Beginning first as sketches and conceptual instructions for which he asked museum staff at both the AAM and the Contemporary Austin to source recycled or discarded materials to make, Cruzvillegas created whimsical works using improvisational construction techniques that provide tangible interactive links between the two museums and their communities, and pay tribute to the creative architectural solutions commonly found in working class and marginalized communities. AAM visitors will be invited to interact physically with a number of the three-dimensional works on view.

Aspen Art Museum Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO and Director, Heidi Zuckerman commented: “At the AAM we have long-exhibited and fostered works by contemporary artists that invite collaboration, as they challenge our perceptions of what art can be, and, ultimately, activate audiences’ engagements with them in unexpected and, hopefully, transcendent and joyful ways. Abraham’s works for Hi, how are you, Gonzo? are a multilayered set of just such activations—from his ambitious connections of geographical locales and the shared gathering of its materials on through each community’s ultimate interactions with its resulting objects. Abraham’s works have the potential to raise questions simple and profound, and to foster further connections that—while impossible to predict—will nonetheless have resounding and lasting impacts on those who enjoy them.”

The Contemporary Austin Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs, Heather Pesanti added: “Abraham’s work is, on one hand, playful warm, and humorous, and on the other, quietly anarchist, in the manner in which it breaks down institutional and political boundaries. He is deeply connected to local culture and geography, inspired at the source by the community of collaboratively built structures in his hometown of Ajusco, south of Mexico City, but extending to each of the communities in which he exhibits and works.”

Abraham Cruzvillegas (b. 1968, Mexico City) studied pedagogy at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Cruzvillegas’s work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, at institutions such as: Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2018); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2017); Tate Modern, London; Museo de Arte de Lima, Mali, Peru (both 2015); Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Haus der Kunst, Munich (both 2014); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009); among many other institutions. Cruzvillegas lives and works in Mexico City.


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