Posted on August 12, 2013
Published in BOMB 124, Summer 2013
by Haegue Yang
Installation view of The Autoconstrucción Suites, 2013, dimensions variable, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo by Gene Pittman. Courtesy of the Walker Art Center.
Before I met Abraham Cruzvillegas, more than once I’d heard curator Clara Kim mention in passing that he was a special person. This piqued my curiosity. When I finally met him in Los Angeles in 2008, the rumors about him were confirmed. Five years after our first meeting, my sense of his uniqueness has not waned but rather continues to grow through our different interactions. We’ve introduced our respective home cities to each other and see each other’s shows whenever we can. So powerful are Abraham’s special qualities that they seem to be contagious—he influences people around him, alters their experiences and perception of what is possible in life.
As an artist, one may fall prey to feeling anxious, weak, and even terrified by a fear of failure, of falling short of one’s desire to be good to oneself and to share something with others. This pressure is self-imposed. Cruzvillegas’s body of work provides a daring and encouraging optimism. The physicality of his sculptures and works on paper can’t be considered without noticing how processes unfolding in time, commitment (togetherness), and a vital nature (spirit), give them shape. Like Duchamp, who was often praised for his modes and efficiency with time, Cruzvillegas exercises a specific mode of efficiency, even when it comes to emotion. The works grow out of fertile ground, from his being in this world, which requires a temporal engagement different from that of being in the studio. His thinking process accumulates depth while it takes inefficient, nonlinear paths. Yet the making of his works occurs in a miraculously swift and decisive manner—their graceful execution is full of wit and demonstrates respect for their materials’ origin.
Read the full interview here.