Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Blockbuster Guadalajara exhibition to consider history, present and future of creative communities

August 02, 2022
A night shot of a black car suspended over a dark pool of water in a park with a silver building in the background

Contact: Lori Brooks | 405 951 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org
Media kit: bit.ly/OC_LaCasa
Read in Spanish

La casa que nos inventamos, featuring 19 Mexican artists and nearly 40 works, finds parallels to Oklahoma City

Opening across Oklahoma Contemporary’s campus on Sept. 23, La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art From Guadalajara provides an opportunity to consider how, since the 2000s, one city in Mexico has built upon its rich cultural history as the capital of the state of Jalisco to become a leading hub of contemporary architecture, design, cuisine, literature and visual art.

In recent decades, the social and economic impact of culturally dynamic communities has been widely recognized. The exhibition La casa que nos inventamos, which translates to “The house that we invented,” reflects on and responds to place — to the rich and complicated history, present and future of a creative community.

Guest curated by Viviana Kuri, director and chief curator of the Museo de Arte de Zapopan (MAZ), the exhibition features more than 40 conceptual artworks — paintings, sculptures, installations, performances — created within the last decade by 19 visual artists from or living in Guadalajara. Featured in the survey are works by figures who rose to international prominence in the 2000s — Gonzalo Lebrija, Jose Dávila, Eduardo Sarabia, Francisco Ugarte — as well as by a generation of artists — Isa Carillo, Larissa Garza, Renata Petersen — who have gained greater attention in recent years.

A large pile of blue paper sits on a tile floor built in a giant warehouse

“After years of research, dialogue and exchange with the artists, galleries, institutions and collectors of Guadalajara, we’re thrilled to welcome this special group of artists to Oklahoma,” says Oklahoma Contemporary Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis.

Through focusing on one dynamic art scene across platforms, La casa que nos inventamos provides a moment to consider the many factors — strong art museums and schools, generous supporters and galleries, plentiful studios and collective spaces — that together make a city’s creative community distinctive, resilient and enduring.

“We believe this exhibition and its related programs will uncover some unexpected parallels between the communities of Guadalajara and Oklahoma City,” Davis says. “For anyone who has ever wondered how an arts scene grows from tender seeds to a thriving ecosystem, this show is a must-see.”

The exhibition will launch concurrently with Oklahoma Contemporary’s Open House, a curated weekend filled with one-of-a-kind arts experiences, including performances from and talks with La casa artists, tours, art-making, music, a car parade and more. The free festivities will reflect some of the pomp and circumstance originally planned for the arts center’s grand opening, which was canceled in March 2020 because of the pandemic.

A green cactus sculpture with T-bone steaks as flowers

Dubbed Open House to mirror La casa que nos inventamos, the weekend will welcome the public not only its new facilities, but also to the messages within the blockbuster Guadalajara show.

“This beautiful, immersive exhibition dives deep into an exciting scene in Mexico, and prompts vital questions: What makes for a fertile creative community? What defines the cultural language of a city?” says Kate Green, guest director of curatorial affairs at Oklahoma Contemporary. “As the title suggests, the answers lie within the artworks, artists and dynamic city — in the beautiful house they have together invented.”

“Through over 40 works — massive outdoor sculptures, a sprawling colorful mural, quiet paintings, a luminous video, lively performance — by nearly 20 emerging and mid-career artists, the exhibition transforms Oklahoma Contemporary inside and out.”

La casa que nos inventamos includes artworks by artists Octavio Abúndez, Alejandro Almanza, Zazil Barba, Julieta Beltrán, Carrillo, Claudia Cisneros, Hiram Constantino, Dávila, Garza, Florencia Guillén, Cynthia Gutiérrez, Carmen Huizar, Lebrija, Jorge Méndez Blake, Petersen, Daniela Ramírez, Gabriel Rico, Sarabia and Ugarte.

Oklahoma Contemporary’s connection to Guadalajara dates back to 2014, as the organization planned the first of four solo exhibitions at its temporary experimental arts space, Marfa Contemporary, in Texas. After collaborating with Lebrija, Dávila, Ugarte and Méndez Blake, director Davis and founder and board chairman Christian Keesee traveled to Guadalajara to learn more about the city’s arts scene and creative community.

Those years of research and relationship building are reaping rewards, Green says. “La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art From Guadalajara is an extraordinary opportunity to experience and learn from one of the most vibrant hubs of contemporary art in the Americas.”

The exhibition is on view Sept. 23, 2022 – Jan. 9, 2023.

A media kit featuring the press release (in English and Spanish), a bio of Kuri and high-resolution images can be found at bit.ly/OC_LaCasa. Interviews with the artists, curators and Oklahoma Contemporary staff can be organized through Lori Brooks (lbrooks@okcontemp.org). Past press releases and information are archived at oklahomacontemporary.org/media.

About Oklahoma Contemporary
At the new, state-of-the-art Oklahoma Contemporary, visitors explore art and creativity through exhibitions, performances and a wide variety of educational programs. At its core, the multidisciplinary contemporary arts organization is an inclusive space. Exhibitions and most programs are free. You are always welcome here.

In addition to the 8,000 square feet of galleries for visual art, Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown home includes a flexible theater, a dance studio and nine classrooms for Camp Contemporary and Studio School. The 4.6-acre grounds also include The Studios, a renovated warehouse that houses ceramics, fiber, painting, printmaking and sculpture classes. Campbell Art Park, our Sculpture Garden and North Lawn lend outdoor space for exhibitions, programs and performances.

After providing contemporary art experiences of all kinds for 30 years at the State Fairgrounds, these new, centrally located facilities dramatically increase Oklahoma Contemporary’s capacity to meet growing demand for arts and culture across our city, state and region.

Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers.

Images: Gonzalo Lebrija, Breve historia del tiempo, 2020. Plymouth Duster, dyed water, receptacle. Dimensions variable. Installed at Oklahoma Contemporary. Photo: Ann Sherman.

Claudia Cisneros, Economía del lenguaje, 2020. Installation/performance. Guadalajara mosaics, cotton pillows, newspaper flowers, video, projection channel. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Gabriel Rico, I Have Anticipated You III, 2019. Ceramic and sand. 66.9 x 66.9 x 27.6 in. Courtesy of the artist.


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