b. 1948, Acapulco, Mexico
As one of the pioneers of conceptual art in Mexico, Carlos Aguirre has been exhibiting thought-provoking and socially conscious work for over 35 years. Over this time, the artist has produced a wide-ranging and dynamic range of works, resulting from a practice that incorporates three core elements: social, linguistic and material. Unlike many conceptual artists, the “idea” does not take precedence over the aesthetics and process of creation, on the contrary, they are vital to conveying the artist’s intent.
From his background in design, Aguirre employs typography, graphic communication and material experimentation to eloquently address complex social issues. Experimentation lies at the heart of Aguirre’s creative process—the artist is constantly learning by means of trial and error with new materials and techniques. He begins with continuous rituals of collecting information, such as photographing intriguing details in urban environments and collecting and archiving phrases from newspapers. He then playfully arranges, re-arranges, assembles, manipulates and adjusts the images, words and unusual materials and objects.
Consisting largely in digital format -the artist refused to paint since his forming years- Aguirre’s work is highly flexible and materialised in multiple forms, from small scale printed format to ephemeral site-specific large-scale installations. In his linguistic work, he wittily addresses the ambiguous space around everyday language from which meaning is formulated. Whether the work untangles social structures, makes political statements or is simply a result of artistic investigation, Aguirre teases our minds to develop our own interpretations and reveals our own contradictions.
Aguirre has represented Mexico in different Biennales, such as Paris, Sao Paulo and Havana. He obtained the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996 and is currently a member of the National System of Creators of the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA, Mexico). He has worked extensively in solo projects for some of the most prestigious contemporary art museums in Mexico, including the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), Contemporary Art National University Museum (MUAC), Carrillo Gil Contemporary Art Museum, Siqueiros Public Exhibition Hall, Museo del Chopo, as well as the National School of Fine Arts.
Returning 30 years after his first solo show at the Museo de Art Moderno (MAM), Aguirre exhibited a large Retrospective “Zona de Riesgo” encapsulating four decades of his most socially and politically driven works in Mexico City.
Puerta Roja represents Carlos Aguirre in Asia since 2014.