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abraham cruzvillegas

abraham_cruzvillegas_autorretrato_ciego_brindando_con_vino_espumoso_2019

abraham cruzvillegas

1968, Mexico City

Abraham Cruzvillegas's artistic process is deeply influenced by his surroundings; rather than being defined by a particular medium, many of his projects are linked by the platform autoconstrucción: A concept that draws from the ingenious, precarious, and collaborative building tactics implemented by the people living in Colonia Ajusco, his childhood neighborhood in Mexico City. He appropriated this term in relation to his practice to describe an approach of inventive improvisation and instability which presents change as a permanent state arising from the chaotic and fragmentary nature of life. The evolving notion of autoconstrucción has in turn yielded different approaches such as autodestrucción and autoconfusión. These inquiries have led him to explore his own origins and to collaborate with family and friends in a very personal form of research that results in a constant process of learning: About materials, landscape, people, and himself.

Through his oeuvre –which includes sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, and video–, Cruzvillegas reveals a close and constant engagement with the material world, immersing himself in the ongoing construction and transformation of personal and collective identities. Using a wide range of collected objects, his sculptures challenge the traditional conceptions of art making; while his paintings and drawings are marked by a keen depiction of the subject and a strong sense of humor —instilled in him from his early training as a political cartoonist. Parallel to his artistic production, Cruzvillegas has cultivated writing as an investigative tool of self-analysis that merges history, criticism, and fiction. His song lyrics and texts about art, politics, and culture are a layer to be added to his aesthetic practice.

Abraham Cruzvillegas studied Pedagogy from 1986 to 1990 at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City while simultaneously attending Gabriel Orozco’s workshop Taller de los viernes. In 2012, he was the 5th laureate of the Yanghyun Prize and in 2006 he received the Prix Altadis d' arts plastiques.

Abraham Cruzvillegas lives and works in Mexico City.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

autorretrato ciego brindando con vino espumoso natural biodinámico al tiempo de recordar cómo hacer que cruja de una mordida una enchiladita potosina, en la única cantina de ahualulco donde sirven mezcal ipiña, a punto de llorar, escuchando a las hermanas pulido cantando ‘flor de canela’, tratando de terminar de leer ‘queer ancient ways’, de zairong xiang, un ser humano, 2019

gold acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins and steel pins on wall

installed: 95.67 x 281.89 x .79 in.

variable dimensions (installation of 319 pieces)

blind self portrait listening to the tunes of 'la josefinita' while I remember sergio gonzález rodríguez telling me to fear nothing but my own tears, crying about what you have no more and can't get back, after eating some dry calamari roasted over a nice clay grill in a fancy restaurant, sipping little glasses of cold rice wine, pretending to write again all i'm kind of memorizing before typing down, but instead reading and reading again about a building some architects want to demolish, 2017

blue acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins and steel pins on wall

variable dimensions (installation of 762 pieces)

200.79 x 460.63 in. aprox. installed

moisture proof sticky cheeky blind self portrait with wiki leaky treats for all skeptical immigrant dark skinned illegal aliens about alternative facts and walls, after reading again and again 'libellus de medicinalibus indorum herbis' while listening to 'It's impossible', a cover of the cheesy but beautiful 'somos novios', while chewing cheapie cheetos at the convenience store just opened by a friend in a totally unsuspected place a week ago, 2017

terracotta acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins and steel pins on wall

variable dimensions (installation of 523 pieces)

 

autoreconstrucción: to insist, to insist, to insist, a project by abraham cruzvillegas & bárbara foulkes, 2018
documentation of performance at the kitchen, new york, 2018
performers: bárbara foulkes and andrés garcía nestitla (not pictured)

autoreconstrucción: to insist, to insist, to insist, a project by abraham cruzvillegas & bárbara foulkes, 2018
documentation of performance at the kitchen, new york, 2018
performers: bárbara foulkes and andrés garcía nestitla (not pictured)

 

autoreconstrucción: to insist, to insist, to insist, a project by abraham cruzvillegas & bárbara foulkes, 2018
documentation of performance at the kitchen, new york, 2018
performers: bárbara foulkes and andrés garcía nestitla (not pictured)

 

documentation of performance by la bruja de texcoco, in the context of autorreconstrucción: detritus, museo universitario de ciencias y arte - muca, mexico city, 2018

installation view of autorreconstrucción: detritus, museo universitario de ciencias y arte - muca, mexico city, 2018

installation view of autorreconstrucción: detritus, museo universitario de ciencias y arte - muca, mexico city, 2018

installation view of ​autorreconstrucción: social tissue, kunsthaus zurich, 2018

installation view of ​autorreconstrucción: social tissue, kunsthaus zurich, 2018

installation view of ​autorreconstrucción: social tissue, kunsthaus zurich, 2018

autodestrucción: avant et après le voyage d ́antonin artaud à la terre rouge, 2018
collage. ink on paper and tape

55.91 x 94.49 in.

the water trilogy 3, 2017

installation. geodesic dome structures (wooden sticks, hemp rope, tarred cardboard, screws and bottle caps); scale models, wooden tables, glass, plastic beer boxes, books, photographs

variable dimensions

intallation view of abraham cruzvillegas, sensory spaces, museum boijmans van beuningen, the netherlands, 2018

the water trilogy 3, 2017

installation. geodesic dome structures (wooden sticks, hemp rope, tarred cardboard, screws and bottle caps); scale models, wooden tables, glass, plastic beer boxes, books, photographs

variable dimensions

intallation view of abraham cruzvillegas, sensory spaces, museum boijmans van beuningen, the netherlands, 2018

installation view of ​the water trilogy 3: autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, as part of sensory spaces 12,

museum boijmans van beuningen, rotterdam, the netherlands, 2017

installation view of ​the water trilogy 3: autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, as part of sensory spaces 12,

museum boijmans van beuningen, rotterdam, the netherlands, 2017


installation view of ​the water trilogy 3: autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, as part of sensory spaces 12,

museum boijmans van beuningen, rotterdam, the netherlands, 2017

autodefensión microtonal obrera campesina estudiantil metabolista descalza, 2017

newspapers, wallpapers, japanese paper, magazines, disposable chopsticks, bamboos, hemp strings, morning glory, moonflower, soil, plastic pots

70.87 x 59.06 x 208.66 in. each

installation view of abraham cruzvillegas - the water trilogy 2, maison ginza hermès, tokyo, 2017

autodefensión microtonal obrera campesina estudiantil metabolista descalza, 2017

newspapers, wallpapers, japanese paper, magazines, disposable chopsticks, bamboos, hemp strings, morning glory, moonflower, soil, plastic pots

70.87 x 59.06 x 208.66 in. each

installation view of abraham cruzvillegas - the water trilogy 2, maison ginza hermès, tokyo, 2017

autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, a, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas, tools

47.64 x 74.02 in.

autoconclusion: ideologically iconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, b, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas and tools

47.64 x 74.02 in.

autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, c, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas and tools

121 x 188 x 20 cm

 

tequioh I, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas, tools

62.01 x 82.68 in.

tequioh III, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas, tools

82.68 x 62.01 in.

reconstruction: the five enemies I, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

reconstruction: the five enemies II, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

reconstruction: the five enemies II, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

reconstruction: the five enemies II, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

 

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015

mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

nuestra imagen actual, 1, 2011
acrylic paint on kraft paper
300 x 400 cm

nuestra imagen actual: helena, 2012

vinyl paint, ink on water, based acrylic enamel on kraft paper

118.11 x 157.48 in.

 

nuestra imagen actual: gabriel, 2015

indian ink on water, based acrylic, enamel paint on kraft paper

118.11 x 157.48 in.

nuestra imagen actual, XVIII, 2019
water based acrylic enamel paint on paper
paper size: 39.37 x 59.06 in.

autorretrato ciego brindando con vino espumoso natural biodinámico al tiempo de recordar cómo hacer que cruja de una mordida una enchiladita potosina, en la única cantina de ahualulco donde sirven mezcal ipiña, a punto de llorar, escuchando a las hermanas pulido cantando ‘flor de canela’, tratando de terminar de leer ‘queer ancient ways’, de zairong xiang, un ser humano, 2019

gold acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins and steel pins on wall

installed: 95.67 x 281.89 x .79 in.

variable dimensions (installation of 319 pieces)

blind self portrait listening to the tunes of 'la josefinita' while I remember sergio gonzález rodríguez telling me to fear nothing but my own tears, crying about what you have no more and can't get back, after eating some dry calamari roasted over a nice clay grill in a fancy restaurant, sipping little glasses of cold rice wine, pretending to write again all i'm kind of memorizing before typing down, but instead reading and reading again about a building some architects want to demolish, 2017

blue acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins and steel pins on wall

variable dimensions (installation of 762 pieces)

200.79 x 460.63 in. aprox. installed

moisture proof sticky cheeky blind self portrait with wiki leaky treats for all skeptical immigrant dark skinned illegal aliens about alternative facts and walls, after reading again and again 'libellus de medicinalibus indorum herbis' while listening to 'It's impossible', a cover of the cheesy but beautiful 'somos novios', while chewing cheapie cheetos at the convenience store just opened by a friend in a totally unsuspected place a week ago, 2017

terracotta acrylic paint on newspaper clippings, cardboard, photographs, drawings, postcards, envelopes, tickets, vouchers, letters, posters, flyers, cards, recipes, napkins and steel pins on wall

variable dimensions (installation of 523 pieces)

 

autoreconstrucción: to insist, to insist, to insist, a project by abraham cruzvillegas & bárbara foulkes, 2018
documentation of performance at the kitchen, new york, 2018
performers: bárbara foulkes and andrés garcía nestitla (not pictured)

autoreconstrucción: to insist, to insist, to insist, a project by abraham cruzvillegas & bárbara foulkes, 2018
documentation of performance at the kitchen, new york, 2018
performers: bárbara foulkes and andrés garcía nestitla (not pictured)

 

autoreconstrucción: to insist, to insist, to insist, a project by abraham cruzvillegas & bárbara foulkes, 2018
documentation of performance at the kitchen, new york, 2018
performers: bárbara foulkes and andrés garcía nestitla (not pictured)

 

documentation of performance by la bruja de texcoco, in the context of autorreconstrucción: detritus, museo universitario de ciencias y arte - muca, mexico city, 2018

installation view of autorreconstrucción: detritus, museo universitario de ciencias y arte - muca, mexico city, 2018

installation view of autorreconstrucción: detritus, museo universitario de ciencias y arte - muca, mexico city, 2018

installation view of ​autorreconstrucción: social tissue, kunsthaus zurich, 2018

installation view of ​autorreconstrucción: social tissue, kunsthaus zurich, 2018

installation view of ​autorreconstrucción: social tissue, kunsthaus zurich, 2018

autodestrucción: avant et après le voyage d ́antonin artaud à la terre rouge, 2018
collage. ink on paper and tape

55.91 x 94.49 in.

the water trilogy 3, 2017

installation. geodesic dome structures (wooden sticks, hemp rope, tarred cardboard, screws and bottle caps); scale models, wooden tables, glass, plastic beer boxes, books, photographs

variable dimensions

intallation view of abraham cruzvillegas, sensory spaces, museum boijmans van beuningen, the netherlands, 2018

the water trilogy 3, 2017

installation. geodesic dome structures (wooden sticks, hemp rope, tarred cardboard, screws and bottle caps); scale models, wooden tables, glass, plastic beer boxes, books, photographs

variable dimensions

intallation view of abraham cruzvillegas, sensory spaces, museum boijmans van beuningen, the netherlands, 2018

installation view of ​the water trilogy 3: autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, as part of sensory spaces 12,

museum boijmans van beuningen, rotterdam, the netherlands, 2017

installation view of ​the water trilogy 3: autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, as part of sensory spaces 12,

museum boijmans van beuningen, rotterdam, the netherlands, 2017


installation view of ​the water trilogy 3: autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, as part of sensory spaces 12,

museum boijmans van beuningen, rotterdam, the netherlands, 2017

autodefensión microtonal obrera campesina estudiantil metabolista descalza, 2017

newspapers, wallpapers, japanese paper, magazines, disposable chopsticks, bamboos, hemp strings, morning glory, moonflower, soil, plastic pots

70.87 x 59.06 x 208.66 in. each

installation view of abraham cruzvillegas - the water trilogy 2, maison ginza hermès, tokyo, 2017

autodefensión microtonal obrera campesina estudiantil metabolista descalza, 2017

newspapers, wallpapers, japanese paper, magazines, disposable chopsticks, bamboos, hemp strings, morning glory, moonflower, soil, plastic pots

70.87 x 59.06 x 208.66 in. each

installation view of abraham cruzvillegas - the water trilogy 2, maison ginza hermès, tokyo, 2017

autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, a, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas, tools

47.64 x 74.02 in.

autoconclusion: ideologically iconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, b, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas and tools

47.64 x 74.02 in.

autoconclusion: ideologically inconsistent identity: jetties, gutters & urinals, c, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas and tools

121 x 188 x 20 cm

 

tequioh I, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas, tools

62.01 x 82.68 in.

tequioh III, 2017

acrylic paint on inkjet print on canvas, tools

82.68 x 62.01 in.

reconstruction: the five enemies I, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

reconstruction: the five enemies II, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

reconstruction: the five enemies II, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

reconstruction: the five enemies II, 2018

acrylic, paint, wood, iron, plastic, cloth

variable dimensions

installation view of 21st biennale of sydney, australia, 2018

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

 

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015

mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

empty lot, 2015
mixed media
variable dimensions
installation view, hyundai commission turbine hall, tate modern, london, 2015

nuestra imagen actual, 1, 2011
acrylic paint on kraft paper
300 x 400 cm

nuestra imagen actual: helena, 2012

vinyl paint, ink on water, based acrylic enamel on kraft paper

118.11 x 157.48 in.

 

nuestra imagen actual: gabriel, 2015

indian ink on water, based acrylic, enamel paint on kraft paper

118.11 x 157.48 in.

nuestra imagen actual, XVIII, 2019
water based acrylic enamel paint on paper
paper size: 39.37 x 59.06 in.

notable solo exhibitions

notable solo exhibitions

His most important projects and exhibitions include: Hi, How Are You, Gonzo? The Contemporary Austin, United States; Aspen Art Museum, United States (2019); Autorreconstrucción: Social Tissue, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland (2018); Sensory Spaces 12: Abraham Cruzvillegas, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2017); The Water Trilogy 2: Autodefensión Microtonal Obrera Campesina Estudiantil Metabolista Descalza, Ginza Maison Hermès: Le Forum, Tokyo (2017); Autoconstriction approximante vibrante rétroflexe, Carré d'Art - musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes, France (2016); Empty Lot, Tate Modern, London (2015); Autodestrucción 7: Deshaciendo el nudo, Museo de Arte de Lima – MALI, Peru (2015); Abraham Cruzvillegas: Autoconstrucción, Museo Jumex, Mexico City and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2014); Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2014) and The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States (2013); Self Builder’s Groove, Final Project for the Berliner Künstlerprogramm residency, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Berlin (2011); Autoconstrucción: The Film, REDCAT CalArts' downtown center for contemporary arts (2009); The Magnificent Seven: Abraham Cruzvillegas, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009); Autoconstrucción: The Soundtrack, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, United Kingdom (2008), among others.
 

selected group exhibitions and biennials

Additionally, his work has been included in various group exhibitions: Abusos de las formas, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2019); Artaud 1936, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2018); Dwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case study, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2018); WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); The Revolution Will Not Be Gray, Aspen Art Museum, United States (2016); Atopía. Migración, legado y ausencia de lugar, MAZ - Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico (2014); Mexico Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, United States (2013); Blockbuster, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, Mexico City (2011); Tate Modern Collection Displays, Tate Modern, London (2011); Paréntesis, MACO, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico (2009); Unmonumental, New Museum, New York (2007), among others.

His work has also a part of the following biennials: Honolulu Biennial 2019, United States (2019); Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans. FRAC - Centre Val de Loire, Orleans, France (2019); 21st Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2018); X Bienal de Nicaragua - Fundación Ortíz Gurdián, Managua (2016); Sharjah Biennial 12, United Arab Emirates (2015); 12 Bienal de la Habana, Cuba (2015); 9th Shanghai Biennale, China (2012); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); 12. İstanbul Bienali, Turkey (2011); 6th SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, South Korea (2010); 10 Bienal de la Habana, Cuba (2009); 54th Venice Biennial (2003).

Video

In this preview from the ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7 episode, Legacy, artist Abraham Cruzvillegas discusses the concept of "autoconstrucción" as an insight into his own artistic practice.
Shown at his parents' home in Mexico City, the artist recounts how the home was constructed with found materials after his father acquired the empty land in the mid-1960s. "'Autoconstrucción' as a concept is related to people making their houses as they can," explains Cruzvillegas. "It's not a method or technique or style; it's more about the social circumstances and the political circumstances."

 

Abraham Cruzvillegas - Autorreconstrucción: Social Tissue, Kunsthaus Zürich, 2018

La Bruja de Texcoco, Andrés García Nestitla and Edson Ontiveros performing