Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Threads from Border-landia: New York

November 9, 2022 - February 18, 2023
  • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Threads from Border-landia

  • Ruiz-Healy Art is pleased to present two concurrent solo exhibitions from Consuelo Jimenez Underwood at both our San Antonio and New York City galleries. In 2022, the artist was awarded the Latinx Artist Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind initiative that recognizes 15 of the most compelling Latinx visual artists working in the United States today. The artist is also the subject of a publication, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision, a recent comprehensive analysis of her work and impact on feminist textile art history. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
  • ​'Living in the borderlands, flags become similar, blurred, often both nations seem the same.' -Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Quatalique-Landia, 2017
    Nylon Mexican flag, cotton and metallic thread
    30 x 17.25 in
    76.2 x 43.815 cm
    ​"Living in the borderlands, flags become similar,  blurred, often both nations seem the same."

    -Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
  • '[Night Lights] was for the ladies of the night. The streetwalkers, the ones that I was familiar with because of...
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Night Lights, 1991
    Woven, silkscreened, silk, cotton, rayon
    53 x 36.5 in
    134.6 x 92.7 cm

    "[Night Lights] was for the ladies of the night. The streetwalkers, the ones that I was familiar with because of my childhood. I remember they would always smile at me and realize that I had a hard time. They were some of the nicer people, women, in my childhood. I don't know what happened to all of these women. I wanted to make a piece that would represent the Virgen Mary protecting them. And that's why I used real shiny fluorescent colors, because that's how they would dress at night. But I wanted to depict  the night—because it was night when they came out, I needed the night to be over them.


    -Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Oral history interview, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, 2011

  • The indigenous American nopales, a staple food for Jimenez Underwood growing up, are printed beneath long sections of barbed wire...
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

    Virgen de los Nopales, 2005

    Stitched print on paper with cotton and synthetic threads

    20 x 26 in

    50.8 x 66.04 cm

    Printed at Self Help Graphics

    Edition of 72

     
    The indigenous American nopales, a staple food for Jimenez Underwood growing up, are printed beneath long sections of barbed wire raining down on the desert scene. Though under intense fire, the cactus is resilient, remaining intact and in place. The artist warns: “The continent is under attack…The Virgen watches.”
  • 'Since 2010, Jimenez Underwood's primary way of signifying Mother has been in the form of the rebozo, a multipurpose garment...
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Woody, My Dad and Me, 2018
    Woven wire, linen, metallic and cotton thread
    50 x 18 in each, 50 x 54 in total
    127 x 45.7 cm, 127 x 137.2 cm
     
    "Since 2010, Jimenez Underwood's primary way of signifying Mother has been in the form of the rebozo, a multipurpose garment of trans-cultural origins that is made, worn, and used (particularly but not solely) by Indigenous and mestiza women throughout the geography of colonial New Spain... As the artist attests, the rebozo, a humble woven garment associated with third world women- and with craft, and with basic necessity- is itself 'infiltrated' into the gallery as a work of art...The rebozo is simultaneously pliable and portable, but also deceptively tough and resilient."

    -Carmen Febles, "Reading our Mothers," Consuelo Jimenez Underwood Art, Weaving, Vision, Duke University Press, 2022
  • 'As fiber artists rooted in Mexican Indigenous/mestiza weaving practices and decolonizing struggles, I consider Consuelo Jimenez Underwood and Georgina Santos...
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Soaring: American Landscape, 2022
    Woven, linen, wire, metallic threads
    30.5 x 92 in
    77.5 x 233.7 cm
    "As fiber artists rooted in Mexican Indigenous/mestiza weaving practices and decolonizing struggles, I consider Consuelo Jimenez Underwood and Georgina Santos to be part of this aesthetic tradition and political conversation, as they adapt ancestral forms and techniques to unravel the legacies of colonialism and neocolonialism in ways that are informed by Indigenous and feminist epistemologies."

    -Cristina Serna, "Decolonizing Aesthetics," Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision, Duke University Press, 2022
  • 'Attentive to maps since the second or third grade, Jimenez Underwood has long understood how maps 'naturalize' reality and relationships....
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    HiWays to Heaven, 2022
    Signed on back of artwork label
    Tapestry, metallic threads
    4 x 5 in
    10.16 x 12.7 cm
    "Attentive to maps since the second or third grade, Jimenez Underwood has long understood how maps 'naturalize' reality and relationships. Maps provided her with global awareness, but it was not the innocence and awe expected by the romantic view of children. She recognized during primary school that maps charts exploration, division, and conquest. Avoiding a simplistic view of maps, the artist has frequently experimented with mapmaking conventions, laying latitude and longitude lines over so-called scientific depictions of geographic territories."

    -Karen Mary Davalos, "Space, Place, and Belongings in Borderlines," Consuelo Jimenez Underwood Art, Weavings, Vision, Duke University Press, 2022
  • 'The artist reads, deconstructs, and reappropriates border symbols to chronicle with hallucinatory imagery the colonial legacies of the Americas: brutal...
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Sacred Jump, 1994
    Woven, silkscreened, embroidered, silk threads, barbed wire, and gold wire
    83 x 38 in
    210.8 x 96.5 cm
    "The artist reads, deconstructs, and reappropriates border symbols to chronicle with hallucinatory imagery the colonial legacies of the Americas: brutal domination of the land and Indigenous cultures, marginalization of the vanquished, tarnished environment and poverty, cultural and spiritual mestizaje, and maximum exploitation of human capital and natural resources to find gold to benefit those in power."

    -Clara Roman "Odio,Flags, the Sacred, and a Different America," Consuelo Jimenez Underwood Art, Weavings, Vision, Duke University Press, 2022
    • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood American Dress. Virgen de Tepin (Chili), 1999 Silkscreened, embroidered silk, barbed wire 59 x 39 in 149.86 x 99 cm
      Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
      American Dress. Virgen de Tepin (Chili), 1999
      Silkscreened, embroidered silk, barbed wire
      59 x 39 in
      149.86 x 99 cm
    • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood Resistencia Yaqui, 1992 Woven, cotton, linen 60 x 54 in 152.4 x 137.2 cm
      Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
      Resistencia Yaqui, 1992
      Woven, cotton, linen
      60 x 54 in
      152.4 x 137.2 cm
  • "The American Dress triptych can certainly be seen as Jimenez Underwood intended, as a statement of deep, profound, and prideful American Indigenous identity and garments that join the lineage of sacred clothing infused with power by the intentional, painstaking labor of the maker."

    -Ann Marie Leimer, "Garments for the Goddess of the Americas,"Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision, Duke University Press, 2022
  • 'This shroud was woven from unbleached silk threads with almost 1,000 squares, each square printed with the bison hoof print....
    Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
    Buffalo Shroud, Almost 1,000 Left, 1995
    Silk, cotton, woven, silkscreened, and embroidered
    96 x 36 x 12 in
    243.8 x 91.4 x 30.5 cm

    "This shroud was woven from unbleached silk threads with almost 1,000 squares, each square printed with the bison hoof print. The photo depicts a mountain of bison heads."

    -Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

     

    It is estimated that 60 million Bison used to roam North America. The species nearly became extinct by a combination of commercial hunting and slaughter in the 19th century. By the year 1889 it was estimated that only 541 Bison lived in the United States. Due to conservation efforts the number of Bison has increased but it will never reach its peak.

     
  • About the Artist

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