* 1968, Mexico City
In his work, Eduardo Abaroa examines aspects of impermanence, history, and the socio-political fabric of society. He reimagines iconic works and powerful cultural symbols seeking to dismantle notions of monumentality and modernity. Found in the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance, his practice has an immediacy that playfully evades the preciousness associated with the art object. He avoids traditional “fine art” connotations by working with unusual material and inexpensive everyday objects: from port-a-potties, tarps, and the rubble of demolished buildings to junk jewelry, cotton swabs, straws, and plastic bottles. Abaroa’s site-specific projects seek to undermine the authority of Mexican cultural institutions along with their official narrative and ultra-nationalistic ideology. By juxtaposing various ideological, aesthetic, and cultural traditions, the artist offers an incisive point of view, deeply critical of the economic and social structures that govern our society.
Abaroa earned his BFA from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (UNAM) in 1992 and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2001. In 1993, he was a founding member of the artist-run space Temístocles 44 in Mexico City. He has been an artist in residency at FLORA ars+natura in Bogota (2014) and Corcoran Gallery in Washington (2012). In 2011 he was the director of the IX International Symposium on Contemporary Art Theory (SITAC) in Mexico City. He has contributed texts for catalogs for many artists vital to the Mexican context, as well as columns and reviews for several journals and publications. He has been the recipient of many grants and awards, including: premio artes visuales Sociedad Internacional de Valores de Arte Mexicano (SIVAM) in 2006 and 2005, Sistema Nacional de Creadores from the Mexican Ministry of Culture, and Fulbright Scholarship, both in 2004.
Some of his solo exhibitions include: Tipología del estorbo, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2017); Fotosíntesis, Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola | UNAM, Mexico City (2015); Stonhenge Sanitario, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2006); Eduardo Abaroa, Engendros del ocio y la hipocresía (1991-1999), Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, Mexico (2003) and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (1999); Bitácora Artística, Curare Espacio Crítico para las Artes, Mexico City (1997).
He has participated in group exhibitions such as: Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, United States (2018); Condemned To Be Modern, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) (2017); Lecturas de un territorio fracturado, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico (2017); Monumentos, anti-monumentos y nueva escultura pública, MAZ - Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico (2017); El orden natural de las cosas, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2016); Kozmic Blues. Entre control / Descontrol, Complejo Cultural Universitario–BUAP, Puebla, Mexico (2016); Rights of Nature, Nottingham Contemporary, United Kingdom (2015); Strange Currencies: Art & Action in Mexico City, 1990-2000, The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia, United States (2015); El testigo del siglo, Museo de Arte Zapopan, Mexico (2014); Hay más rutas que la nuestra, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2013); México Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, United States (2013); Antes de la resaca, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, MUAC, Mexico City (2011); Mexico: Expected / Unexpected - collection Isabel et Agustín Coppel, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, United States (2011) and La maison rouge, Paris (2008); Poetics of the Handmade, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007); Eco, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2005), among many others.
His work has also been included in the following biennials: XIII Bienal FEMSA 2018, Monterrey, Mexico; Busan Biennale 2008, South Korea; 25a Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2002) and inSite_97, Tijuana/San Diego border (1997).
Eduardo Abaroa lives and works in Mexico City.