Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists
October 14 – November 25, 2017
A trio of solo exhibitions by Mexican-Californian craft pioneers
Curated by Emily Zaiden, Craft in America Center Director
Craft in America will focus on the work of three individual artist: Jaime Guerrero, Gerardo Monterrubio, and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood. These artists who use craft to articulate messages about American culture, personal experiences, Latino identity and the ever-mutating socio-political tensions that exist in Los Angeles and California as a whole.
The second of three exhibitions will include a group of ceramic sculptural works by Oaxaca-born and Los Angeles-based artist Gerardo Monterrubio. The artist is a master storyteller and illustrator who gives new relevance to the ancient tradition of the decorated ceramic vessel. Melding stylistic elements of Mexican mural painting with his artistic origins as a graffiti artist, Monterrubio breathes new life to clay forms. His graphic, polychromatic imagery draws from his own experiences and reflects broader contemporary themes from Mexican, immigrant and American urban cultures. Each of his forms is blanketed with a proliferation of raw imagery that elicits a personal investigation, as though one is peering into a dream or memory. Monterrubio’s sculptures occasionally take the shapes of identifiable objects but more commonly, they bubble and stretch into amorphous yet vaguely corporeal masses. Much like skin to the tattoo artist, the ceramic surface is Monterrubio’s canvas. Each piece encapsulates the feeling of peering into an overflowing sketchbook filled with designs, images and suggestions. Narratives are located amidst a backdrop of scattered buildings, and portraits of people and animals float in and out of each scene. Monterrubio recently began teaching at Long Beach City College after completing his MFA at UCLA in 2013.
Monterrubio is featured in Craft in America’s 2017 episode, NEIGHBORS. This episode is an introduction to the vast interrelationships in the craft practices of Mexico and the United States.
This exhibition was part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.
Photos by Madison Metro