Commonwealth and Council

Art Basel:OVR 2020

Beatriz Cortez, Carolina Caycedo, Clarissa Tossin, Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, and EJ Hill

Images

Roots


Commonwealth and Council presents six works by gallery artists Beatriz Cortez, Carolina Caycedo, Clarissa Tossin, Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, and EJ Hill. These works meditate on the present moment, variously capturing anxiety, yearning, and also hope, considering the resilience of nature, the liberatory potential of the erotic and bodily, and Indigenous knowledge. 


Flood represents a new series of neon verses by EJ Hill. Their pink glow channels the fleshy insides of our porous and vulnerable yet also strong bodies. Hill seeks the intimacy denied under conditions of quarantine and physical distancing, projecting a future in which what is repressed can be unleashed: a revolution emanating from the personal.


Clarissa Tossin and Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio grapple with ethical concerns of extractivist, twenty-first century Anthropocene life. Tossin’s Circumnavigation Towards Exhaustion: Coltan Mines weaves a tapestry from used Amazon.com delivery boxes and a topographical map of the mines from which a crucial element in smartphone manufacture is sourced. These mines often employ forced indigenous and/or child labor, expose miners to hazardous working conditions, and cause long-term environmental damage to the surrounding ecology and communities. An ambiguous sphere criss-crossed with Indigenous woven patterns and the ubiquitous Amazon logo, the weaving is a visual klaxon, deep orange and red. At what price are modernity and progress sustained? Tossin asks.


With a hanging sheet of rubber cast from a tree trunk, Aparicio similarly recalls histories of economic and environmental exploitation embedded in the materials of daily life. Rubber, processed from the sap of trees native to Latin America, motivated much of American intervention into civil wars and political upheaval in the twentieth century, a legacy which threads its way to Latinx diasporic communities in the United States. These threads converge with Aparicio, whose is of Salvadoran heritage and grew up in Los Angeles; the tree trunk from which Aparicio cast Hojas De Vidrio (Volcán Guazapa) stands in a primarily Central American neighborhood of Los Angeles.


The industrial and handcrafted again converge in Tombstone/Lápida, a headstone with an embroidered epitaph composed of testimonies from children at migrant detention facilities run by the United States Customs and Border Protection. In English and Spanish, the text includes declarations such as “I am always hungry here,” “I have a metal blanket.” Beatriz Cortez’s tombstone is a chilling elegy, a cold pillow.


Flying Massachusett refers to the Indigenous tribes that inhabited New England and from whom the state Massachusetts derives its name. An artisanal fishing net, trap, and hammock recall the shape of a fish. Carolina Caycedo and Cortez find connections to Indigeneity in the natural world yet refuse to restrict these concepts to a preindustrial or precolonial past; Cortez’s Roots 1 upends the anatomy of a tree crafted from steel—rendering the industrial organic, its tangle of roots now a rhizomatic network of grey matter.


Beatriz Cortez (b. 1970, San Salvador, El Salvador; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Arizona State University. She has had solo exhibitions at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles (2019); Clockshop, Los Angeles (2018); Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles (2016). Cortez has participated in group exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2019); Ballroom Marfa, TX (2019); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2019); John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); BANK/MABSOCIETY, Shanghai, China (2017); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017); Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador (2016); and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2016). Cortez is the recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles Award (2020), the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize (2019), the Emergency Grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts (2019), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2018), the Artist Community Engagement Grant (2017), and the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2016). Her sculpture Glacial Erratic is currently on display at Rockefeller Center, New York as part of Frieze Sculpture.

Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978, London, UK, to Colombian parents; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from the University of Southern California in 2014 and a BFA from Los Andes University in Bogotá (1999). Caycedo’s work has been exhibited worldwide, with solo shows at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2020); Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA (2019); Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland (2019); UNECE, Astana, Kazakhstan (2018); NUMU, Guatemala (2017); Clockshop, Los Angeles (2015); and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, Colombia (2014). She has participated in group exhibitions at Chicago Architecture Biennial (2019); Museo de Arte São Paulo, Brazil (2019); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Les Recontres, Arles, France (2017); and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2014). Selected grants and residencies include Main Museum Artist-in-Residence (2017); California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2017); FAAP Artistic Residency, São Paulo Biennial (2016); Creative Capital Award (2015); and Art Matters Foundation Grant (2014). A survey of her practice thus far will open at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in December 2020.

Clarissa Tossin (b. 1973, Porto Alegre, Brazil; lives and works in Los Angeles) has held solo exhibitions at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica (2019); Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard, MA (2018); Galeria Luisa Strina, São Paulo, Brazil (2018); Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2018); JOAN, Los Angeles (2016); and Galeria Baobá, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil (2015). Selected group exhibitions include MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2020); Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2020); Luhring Augustine, New York (2019); Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard, MA (2018); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); 12th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2018); Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Mulhouse, France (2018); and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014). Tossin is the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Visual Arts Grant (2019), Fellows of Contemporary Art Fellowship (2019), Artadia Los Angeles Award (2018), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University (2018), the California Community Foundation’s Emerging Artist Fellowship (2014), the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Artistic Innovation Grant (2012), and the Core Program Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston (2010-12). An upcoming solo exhibition will open at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France in June 2021.

Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio (b. 1990, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA from Yale University in 2016 and BA in Studio Art from Bard College in 2012, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Paramo, Guadalajara (2019), The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2018) and Green Gallery, New Haven, CT (2016). Aparicio has participated in group exhibitions at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2020); Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City (2018); Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2018); Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2017); and Abrons Art Center, New York (2016). He is the recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2018); Schell Center for Human Rights Fellowship, Yale University (2015); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, VCCA (2014); and Sol LeWitt and Elizabeth Murray Studio Arts Award, Bard College (2012).

EJ Hill (b. 1985, Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles) received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and BFA from Columbia College, Chicago in 2011. Solo exhibitions have been held at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard, MA (2020); Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (2019, 2017, 2014); Company Gallery, New York (2018); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2017). Hill has participated in group exhibitions at Dallas Museum of Art, TX (2019); California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Aspen Art Museum (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Venice Biennale (2017); The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2017); Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, France (2017): PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, Ukraine (2017); Studio Museum, New York (2016); PIASA, Paris, France (2015); and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles (2014). He is the recipient of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University (2018-19), Foundation for Contemporary Arts' Grants to Artists (2018); Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2018), the Mohn Public Recognition Award at the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. 2018 (2018), the Los Angeles Artadia Award (2018), the Art Matters Foundation Grant (2017), and the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2015). Hill will be a participant in Prospect.5, New Orleans, opening October 2021.