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Abraham Cruzvillegas in "Legacy"

Abraham Cruzvillegas works in his Mexico City studio and at exhibitions in Paris and Minneapolis to assemble sculptures and installations from found objects and disparate materials, through which he explores the effects of improvisation, transformation, and decay.

His experiments with video, performance, family archives, and academic research reveal the deep connection between his identity, born of the harsh realities of his family’s life in Mexico, and his artistic practice.

More information and credits


Series Created By: Susan Dowling & Susan Sollins. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Associate Curator: Wesley Miller. Director of Production: Nick Ravich. Field Producer: Ian Forster. Editor: Lizzie Donahue. Director of Photography: Jarred Alterman, Rafael Salazar, Miguel Sanchez-Martin, Ian Serfontein, & Joel Shapiro. Additional Photography: Mark Falstad, David Howe, Rafael de la Uz, & Ava Wiland. Sound: Tom Bergin, Richard Gin, Heidi Hesse, Agnès Jammal, Mauricio Rodriguez, Rob Shire, Paul Stadden, & Merce Williams. Assistant Camera: Garrett Burns, Alejandro Munoz, & Irwin Seow.

Art Direction & Design: Open, New York. Online Editor: Don Wyllie. Composer: Peter Foley. Voiceover Artist: Jace Alexander, Dale Soules, & Joe Urla. Sound Mix: Cory Melious. Sound Edit: Matt Snedecor. Graphics Animation: CRUX Design. Artwork Animation: Stephanie Andreou. Assistant Editor: Carla Naranjo, Danny Rivera, Leana Siochi, Elizabeth J. Theis, & Bahron Thomas.

Artworks Courtesy of: Tania Bruguera; Abraham Cruzvillegas; Wolfgang Laib; Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; kurimanzutto, Mexico City; & Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York. Archival Footage & Photography: Bunker, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; & Tate Media, London.

Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees; María de los Angeles Fuentes; Alejandra Carrillo; Ilse Cornelis; Deborah Cristiano; Annette Eliëns; Lucile Fay; Annie Fletcher; Framerunner; Neshi Galindo; Charlotte Du Genestoux; Dominique Harrison; Heard City; Amelia Hinojosa; Immigrant Movement International; Meredith Kessler; Carolyn Laib; Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz; Cristian Manzutto; Aliza Nisenbaum; Paulina Pardo; Pat Casteel Transcripts; The Phillips Collection; Queens Museum; Raices Group; Prerana Reddy; Alvaro F. Rodas; Patrick Rowe; David Strauss; Van Abbemuseum; Walker Art Center

Additional Art21 Staff: Cristiana Baik, Nicole J. Caruth, KC Forcier, Joe Fusaro, Jessica Hamlin, Jonathan Munar, Alexis Patterson, Heather Reyes, Diane Vivona, & Nechama Winston.

Public Relations: CaraMar Publicity. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman.

In Memoriam: Susan Sollins, visionary creator of Art21 and Art in the Twenty-First Century.

Major underwriting for Season 7 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Agnes Gund, Bloomberg, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Abraham Cruzvillegas

Abraham Cruzvillegas assembles sculptures and installations from found objects and disparate materials. Expanding on the intellectual investigation of his own paradoxical aesthetic concepts of autoconstrucción and autodestrucción, he likens his works to self-portraits of contradictory elements and explores the effects of improvisation, transformation, and decay on his materials and work. In his experiments with video, performance, personal and family archives, and academic research, he reveals the deep connection between his identity—born of the realities of his family’s life in Mexico—and his artistic practice.

“At the beginning, I think it will look like somebody forgot to finish the work, until maybe you discover that there is something that joins everything together.”

Abraham Cruzvillegas

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