“The Potential of Sculpture” is Helen Escobedo’s first solo show at Proyectos Monclova and the second since her retrospective titled “A Escala Humana” at the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City, in 2010. The present exhibition is composed by a selection of 75 pieces of different interrelated bodies of work: drawing, collage, sculpture, maquette and painting, and is focused on the links between art and architecture, public space, landscape and design, one of the constants that marked the artistic career of Helen Escobedo since the mid- 1960s.
The exhibition covers her production period from the end of the 60s to the beginning of the 80s, showing a line of deep and coherent research evolving around sculpture in relationship to its environment. Site specificity, one of the main concerns and pillars of Helen Escobedo’s work, was part of her intention to integrate art into life, which resulted in the linking of her work with the everyday.
Escobedo was an excellent draftswoman and her utopian projects and installations manifested in drawings and collages that often introduced a subversive object as a critical and humorous commentary on the urban space. Drawing was her medium of choice to develop ideas for ambitious projects. In those sketches she conceived complex images, indispensable to understand her work – particularly her intention to subvert established artistic practices – and her interest in processes, rather than in finished objects.
Helen Escobedo studied at the Royal College of Art, London (1951-1954). Among her most prominent public works are: Signals (1971), in Auckland, New Zealand; Doors to the Wind (1968), Friendship Route, in Mexico City; Cóatl, (1980), in the Sculptural Space; and The Sculptural Space Center (co-authorship) in the central campus of the UNAM, being one of the few women in the world making land art in the 70s. As a cultural promotor she was in charge of the management of MUCA, UNAM (1958-1982) and the Museum of Modern Art (1983-1985). Escobedo received the award from the Royal Academy of Sciences, Literature and Fine Arts of Belgium (1986), the Guggenheim Fellowship (1991) and the National Arts Award in Mexico, within the category of Fine Arts (2009). The artistic work of Escobedo has been shown in 35 individual exhibitions and more than 100 collective exhibitions in Mexico and abroad.