Escultura Social A New Generation of Art from Mexico City Julie Rodrigues Widholm

Publication date:
27 Jul 2007
Yale University Press
224 pages: 254 x 229mm
130 color illus.
Sales territories:


Mexico City has emerged as a thriving center of contemporary art. Escultura Social features recent work by a group of artists whose influence has already extended far beyond Mexico and focuses on how they have contributed to an international dialogue through their use of nontraditional materials, new media, and critical perspectives.
This book takes Joseph Beuys’s idea of “social sculpture,” or escultura social, as a multivalent reference point for understanding how these socially engaged works draw connections between people and nature and promote a demystified and democratic concept of art-making. Featuring the work of twenty artists, this bilingual volume includes several artists’ writings by pioneers of artist-run exhibition spaces: Stefan Brüggemann, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Yoshua Okón, and Pedro Reyes. Critical essays on the contemporary Mexican scene and relevance of Beuys’s ideas are accompanied by illustrated texts on each artist in this unique and important book.
Bilingual (English/Spanish)


Julie Rodrigues Widholm is assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Itala Schmelz is director of the Sala de Público Siqueiros, Mexico City.

?This is a well-presented and clearly-written book that, like the exhibition itself, stimulates debate whatever one?s feelings about conceptual, performance and other non-traditional art forms.?

"The artists represented operate primarily through performance, video installations, photography, and architecture. Their work falls within the legacy of conceptual art and addresses questions of globalization, identity, spectacle culture, and history. . . . Recommended."?Choice

"Widholm presents a clear and digestible introduction and framework to the artwork documented in this bilingual book. The essays and interviews . . . are enjoyable and informative, and compliment the artwork's sincere craft and community. Escultura Social succeeds in bringing us a relevant, worthwhile glimpse of contemporary artwork from Mexico City, where community, not geography, smartly define the boundaries of the city."?Alarm Magazine