It often happens that an artist of any discipline needs to succeed abroad in order to be recognized, remembered and appreciated in their home country. This is why the American Society is organized in New York Giles Cabrera: Museum of Sculpture, The first solo exhibition in the United States dedicated to the pioneer in the professional practice of sculpture in Mexico. Geles Cabrera was first shown, individually, in 1948 at the Mont Orendáin Gallery. He is currently 95 years old.
The show is the first in a series that will shine a light on the legacy of women and artists from the Americas, with the goal of bringing back these previously under-studied or overlooked creators.
The works consist of fifty sculptures, created over four decades, that reveal the artist’s interest in the human body, while experimenting with different materials such as volcanic rock, bronze, terracotta, papier-mâché, and cast glass. Between abstraction and photography, Cabrera sculpts and shapes human forms that evoke work, motherhood, and human relationships.
For Amy Iglesias Lucken, Senior Curator of the Visual Arts District at the Society of the Americas, the exhibition is expected to allow “viewers to rethink art history through the voice of a powerful artist who has literally managed to carve a space for herself”.
In 2018, the El Eco Experimental Museum was organized Giles Cabrera: the first sculptor from Mexico, Curated by artist Pedro Reyes, an exhibition that has been amazed at the authenticity, freshness, and finish of his pieces. Reyes writes that his works attracted attention from the start because they developed free from the dominant nationalist style of the time. It has even been linked to the Rupture generation.
Cabrera was born in Mexico City on August 2, 1926, and studied at the National School of Fine Arts and La Esmeralda National School of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving. At that time, men almost exclusively practiced sculpting, and even women were discouraged from pursuing a career in this specialty.
Cabrera struggled to break through and had great teachers such as Ignacio Asuncolo, Francisco Zuniga, Phidias Elizondo and Luis Ortiz Monasterio. “Long before Mexico received the influence of Henry Moore, Cabrera distanced himself from realism with his intuition. Although the figure remained consistent in his work, his treatment was always a lyrical synthesis,” Reyes noted.
Cabrera’s love of dance has influenced her work: “Her practice in dance and public art helps illuminate her work’s exploration of the dynamics between body and space. In the context of modern architecture and experimental dance, her sculptures negotiate the emotional nature of the body and the city,” says co-curator Tai Jojima.
In the 1960s, he founded the Geles Cabrera Sculpture Museum in his home, in the Coyoacán neighborhood, where he was able to share his artwork with the community. She funded the museum, which has been open for 40 years. He never stopped experimenting with materials and form. In the 1970s he worked with Angela Gurria, Juan Luis Diaz, and Mathias Goeritz to create public art.
Parallel to the opening of the exhibition great masters of Mexican folk art, Presented by the Mexican National Bank, through Fomento Cultural Citibanamex. It collects 25 pieces created by 21 artisans from the same number of communities in nine states. Pieces of craft branches from clay, wood, textiles, plant fibres, paper and stone stand out.
The Fomento Cultural Ctibanamex Fomento Cultural Ctibanamex Folk Art Support Program began in 1996 with the aim of promoting and strengthening artisanal creativity in Mexico. After 25 years, the program has achieved a milestone in its field and is today considered a national and international standard for Mexican folk art, due to its comprehensive model of direct support for workshops and training of great masters.
Giles Cabrera: Museum of Sculpture and Great masters of folk art They will remain until July 30, at the Society of the Americas headquarters, 680 Park Avenue, New York.
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