Helen Escobedo, Interceptor – Serie urbe, 1978. Collage on paper. Courtesy of the Helen Escobedo Estate and Proyectos Monclova.
The Potential of Sculpture
February 5–March 9, 2019
Colima 55, Col. Roma Norte
06700 Mexico City,
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm,
The Potential of Sculpture is Helen Escobedo’s first solo show at Proyectos Monclova and the second since her retrospective titled A Escala Humana at the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City, in 2010. The present exhibition is composed by a selection of 75 historic pieces of different interrelated bodies of work: drawing, collage, sculpture, maquette and painting, and is focused on the links between art and public space, landscape, architecure and design, one of the constants that marked the artistic career of Helen Escobedo since the mid-1960s.
The exhibition covers her production period from the end of the 60s to the beginning of the 80s, showing a line of deep, coherent and continuous research into the possibilities of sculpture and monument in relation to its environment. Site specificity, one of the main concerns and pillars of Helen Escobedo’s work, was part of her intention to integrate art into life and daily activities, which allowed for a link between her work and the everyday.
Escobedo was an excellent draftswoman and her utopian projects and installations manifested in drawings and collages that often introduced a subversive object as a critical and humorous commentary on the urban space. Drawing was her medium of choice to develop ideas for ambitious projects. In those sketches she conceived complex images, indispensable to understand her work—particularly her intention to subvert established artistic practices, her will for experimentation—and her interest in processes, rather than in finished objects.
Helen Escobedo (1934–2010) studied at the Royal College of Art, London (1951–54). Among her most prominent public works are: Signals (1971), in Auckland, New Zealand; Doors to the Wind (1968), Friendship Route, in Mexico City; Cóatl, (1980), in the Sculptural Space, Mexico City; and The Sculptural Space Center (co-authorship) in the central campus of the UNAM, Mexico City, being one of the few women in the world making land art in the 70s. As a cultural promotor she was in charge of the management of MUCA, UNAM (1958–82) and the Museum of Modern Art (1983–85) in Mexico City. Escobedo received the award from the Royal Academy of Sciences, Literature and Fine Arts of Belgium (1986), the Guggenheim Fellowship (1991) and the National Arts Award in Mexico, within the category of Fine Arts (2009). The artistic work of Escobedo has been shown in 35 individual exhibitions and over 100 collective exhibitions in Mexico and abroad.