The Armory Show: New York City

September 8 - 10th, 2023
  • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood

    The Armory Show
  • Ruiz-Healy Art is pleased to present Consuelo Jimenez Underwood at the Armory Show 2023. Jimenez Underwood has been exhibiting her work since the 1980s, choosing to focus on the fiber arts at a time when weaving was considered “craft,” not “art.” As the daughter of a Huichol-descended father who weaved and a Mexican-American mother who embroidered, it has always been important to the artist to continue these ancestral practices and insist on their legitimacy in the artistic sphere. Her initial goal as an artist was to become a “footnote in history,” but in recent years she has far surpassed her ambition. In 2022, Duke University Press published an anthology on her decades-long career, titled Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision, and she was awarded the Latinx Artist Fellowship the same year. With this broad recognition, she thinks of her remaining time in this world as “the parade.”

  • Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna
    Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna

    Manahatta Rain Song, made on-site for this year’s Armory Show, pays tribute to the land and indigenous peoples of New York, and incorporates the city’s street grid with a metal bullseye on the Javits Center. A blue line cuts across the artwork, representing the US-Mexico borderline, which appears throughout the artist’s oeuvre and in all fourteen of her on-site installations. Reflecting on the land’s past, present, and future, Jimenez Underwood’s primary theme in this work revolves around the question of running: “We’re always running, it seems. And in New York, everyone is running. What are we running on?” The artist urges us to stop and consider our political position and place in time.

  • Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, VDG Rebozo Detail, 2023, Signed and dated on verso, Woven, painted, stitched. Linen, cotton, synthetic threads, copper wire, CAUTION tape, leather barbed wire, silk fabric, 
    67 x 29 in, 170.2 x 73.7 cm
    Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna
  • Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna
    Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna

    Tree Sighting, Zapata, honors the Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, one of many hero’s the artist honors in her works. Other heroes and iconic images that the artist recognizes in her work at that of the Virgen de Guadalupe and the Caution highway sign.

  • "Their life stories shine Light when there is Darkness. Willing to die for their beliefs, their strength and courage were admirable and worthy to remember and honor. All of my Heroes had tragic deaths, but glorious moments of their lives will be remembered for a long time."

    - Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.

  • Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna
    Photo Courtesy of Daniel Terna
    Matchuk, the name of Jimenez Underwood’s grandson, translates to “the moment of dawn’s first light” in Yaqui, alluding to “the dawn’s early light” of the National Anthem. The flag is severed with strips of colorful oil cloth, interrupted by an explosive yellow light, and the ancient Aztec earth goddess Coatlicue is embroidered into the background. 
  • Quatlique, Can You See Matchuk? is a reflection of the artist articulating her deep ecological concerns. The artist asks, “Are you going to be able to recognize Matchuk, Coatlicue when the world is disintegrating? Is the flag going down? When the world crumbles and melts, will you see my Matchuk?” 

  • While Jimenez Underwood’s artworks are technically tight and aesthetically beautiful, her content is just as important. Every stitch is guided by lifelong reflections on a range of complex subjects. The artist states: “My work is a reflection of personal border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, insisting on beauty in struggle, and celebrating the notion of ‘seeing’ this world through my tri-cultural lens. Engaging materials, which reflect a contemporary hyper-modern sensitivity, are interwoven to create large-scale fiber art that is inspired in equal measures by land, politics and Spirit.”