Oklahoma Contemporary
Cynthia Gutiérrez
A gallery is in view, with three white pedestals atop ceramic water vessels in the center. Behind we can see a large painting, a pink and brown checkered wall and large orange vases.

New Light

Nov. 08, 2022

La casa: An Interview with Cynthia Gutiérrez

“We can inhabit the same world, and, at the same time, be worlds apart”

Six people stand in front of steel beams propped against a white wall. Everyone is smiling at the camera, dressed in pinks, reds, blues and whites.
Artist Cynthia Gutiérrez (right) with other La casa artists and Oklahoma Contemporary staff

Connection and re-imagining fixed stories sit at the forefront of Guadalajara artist Cynthia Gutiérrez’ practice. In her works on view in La casa que nos inventamos, No pertenecemos a la misma Tierra I-III (which translates to We Don’t Belong to the Same Earth), a reminder and a warning are wrapped up in the vintage, artisan water vessels that sit on the floor.

“When I visit the workshop of an artisan, I perceive time is running in a different way, and the connection with the material with the earth itself, I think it gives them a different perspective of how to inhabit earth, our world,” Gutiérrez says. “I think we are a different pace, we are running towards collapse, and it’s important to turn to these other ways of relating to the world.”

A clay water vessel sits underneath a white pedestal. The clay vessel has varying red and orange pigments with differing solid rings and patterns.
Cynthia Gutiérrez' No pertenecemos a la misma Tierra I-III (detail) (2021)

The specific vessels used in Gutiérrez’ work are made from Mexico-based artisans, who utilize a specific clay that is rapidly becoming hard to come by as cement and pavement further spread through cities. By taking these handmade pieces and placing them at the base of a pedestal, the platform which typically holds a sculpture on view, Gutiérrez shifts the focus of her work from observation to one of contemplation.

“I’ve been trying to move the sculpture from the pedestal or fixed and heavy objects, to move them to break them in a way,” Gutiérrez says. “There was always tension between very fixed and heavy official history and other stories that are more subtle or other materials. So there’s a certain lightness or subtleness in my works that contrasts — not only materially but conceptually.”

Over the run of the exhibition, we’ll unveil new conversations about La casa, Guadalajara and cultivating creative communities. See an interview with Gutiérrez below, Claudia Cisneros here, curator Viviana Kuri here and artist talks held opening weekend here. Or visit our entire La casa playlist on YouTube.


Installation view of La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art From Guadalajara, including works by Cynthia Gutiérrez. Photo: Alex Marks.

Artists and curator at the opening of La casa, including curator Kate Green (left), artist Isa Carrillo (center) and artist Cynthia Gutiérrez (right). Photo: AJ Stegall.

Cynthia Gutiérrez's No pertenecemos a la misma Tierra I-III / We Don’t Belong to the Same Earth I-III (detail) (2021). Photo: Dennis Spielman.

Cynthia Gutiérrez: La casa que nos invetamos. Video: Dennis Spielman.

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Guadalajara interview artist artist interview La casa que nos inventamos sculpture ceramics

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