Public Engagement

General Public

Public Art Fund Talk at The New School: Abraham Cruzvillegas

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

The Auditorium, Room A106, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Abraham Cruzvillegas is one of the most important conceptual artists of his generation to come from the vibrant art scene in Mexico City. For his Public Art Fund talk, Cruzvillegas will speak on his ten-year body of work titled Autoconstrucción, or “self-building.”

He associates autoconstrucción with an improvised approach to domestic architecture that is deeply informed by the development of his childhood neighborhood, Pedragales de Coyoacan in the south of Mexico City. Built beyond the boundaries of the urban plan, on a hillside of volcanic rock, the self-made neighborhood required an approach to building, materials, and community solidarity that has served as both a metaphor and a methodology for Cruzvilleagas’ ongoing approach to artmaking. As such, his diverse practice includes sculpture, installation, film, and performance works that utilize found objects, assemblage, and improvisation to address subjects such as survival economics, labor, and hybridity. For Cruzvilleagas, autoconstrucción “is a process full of human warmth and solidarity among neighbors and relatives. It is important not just as collaboration, as shared capital, but also as an enriching learning for everyone who is part of a community, helping them to understand their own circumstances.”  

Abraham Cruzvillegas (b. 1968, Mexico City) lives and works in Mexico City. Solo exhibitions of Cruzvillegas’ work have been presented in institutions worldwide, including the Fundacion/Coleccion Jumex, Mexico City (2014); Haus der Kunst, Munich, (2014); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2013); Modern Art Oxford, United Kingdom (2011); The New Museum, New York (2011); and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2009). He has also been included in numerous biennials, including the Fiftieth Venice Biennale (2003), Istanbul Biennial (2011), Documenta 13 (2012), and the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012). He is a member of The International Taoist Tai Chi Society, studied Pedagogy at the National University of Mexico, and was a member of Gabriel Orozco's workshop from 1987 to 1991. He participated in artist-run projects Temístocles 44 and La Panadería and founded La Galería de Comercio in 2010. Cruz Villeagas is represented by Kurimanzutto in Mexico City, Regen Projects in Los Angeles, and Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris.

The Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics  at The New School

This program is support by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Abraham Cruzvillegas, Still from Autoconstrucción: The Film, 2009
HD video, color, sound; 62 min
Courtesy the artist and Kurimanzutto

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


Vera List Center for Art and Politics


Art and Design


Schools of Public Engagement


Fine Arts, Architecture, Film, Urban Design, Development and Policy, Social Justice


$10; free for students, New School faculty, staff and alumni with ID

Admin Notes

Approved PT

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Getting Here

Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.