Carmen Argote: Searching for the Willow Pattern
Commonwealth and Council is pleased to present a new body of work by Los Angeles-based artist Carmen Argote. Informed by process and research, Argote’s site-responsive practice incorporates diverse materials and focuses on notions of home, place, and histories of migration. Sculptural paintings of raw linen standing tall in looped folds evoke city skylines and their pockets, resembling balconies, are poured and pressed with liquid colorants. The paintings and accompanying sculptural works painted with unfired ceramic oxides, such as cobalt, copper, and iron, trace cultural exchanges between Spain, Asia, and the Middle East. In thinking about the commerce along these routes (precursor to present-day capitalism) and the aesthetic legacies of imperialism, Searching for the Willow Pattern probes how contemporary ideas and ideals of modern living and taste betray histories of cultural pilfering, appropriation, and the repackaged globalization of western aesthetics.
Carmen Argote (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico; lives and works in Los Angeles) received her MFA in 2007 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also received her BFA in 2004. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Visual Arts Center, University of Texas, Austin (2020); New Museum, New York (2019); PAOS, Guadalajara, Mexico (2019); Ballon Rouge Collective, Istanbul, Turkey (2019) and New York (2018); Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, Colombia (2018); Panel LA, Los Angeles (2017); Adjunct Positions Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); MAK Center, Los Angeles (2015); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2014); and Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles (2013). Argote has been featured in group exhibitions at SculptureCenter, New York (2019); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017), Ballroom Marfa (2017); and Denver Art Museum (2017). She is the recipient of the Artadia Los Angeles award (2019), Artist Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation (2015) and a California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2013).