Miguel Angel Ríos

Miguel Angel Ríos, Taking a Break, 2014, Color print, 13 x 19 1/2 inches (33 x 50 cm), Edition of 3 + 2AP

Miguel Angel Ríos, Taking a Break, 2014, Color print, 13 x 19 1/2 inches (33 x 50 cm), Edition of 3 + 2AP


Miguel Angel Ríos’s oeuvre pairs a rigorous conceptual approach with a meticulously constructed, handcrafted aesthetic. Since the 1970’s, he explores the concept of the Latin American, using this idea as both an artistic strategy and a political problem. Ríos’s studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires before moving to New York in the 1970’s to escape the military dictatorship in Argentina. He subsequently relocated to Mexico and now divides his time between New York and Mexico City.

Over the past two decades, Ríos has delved into the medium of video to create symbolic narratives about human experience, violence, and mortality. His videos of spinning tops--trompos--use the childhood game as a backdrop for a meditation on the transience of life, and the mechanics of power. Moreover, Ríos is known for a series he began creating in the 1990’s, maps that he carefully cut, folded and pleated by hand. Marking the 500th anniversary of the "discovery" of the Americas, these maps trace long histories of power and colonial experience, while referencing traditional indigenous arts in the Americas. More recently, Ríos has produced the videos: Piedras Blancas (2014), Mulas (2015) and Landlocked (2015). These works address issues of migration and the trafficking of people and drugs in countries below the Southern United States’ border and beyond.

Ríos has had solo exhibitions at Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe; the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (2011 and 2009); The Art Museum of the University of Houston; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Ríos’s work is featured in collections around the world, including the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; Colección Isabel y Augustín Coppel; Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich; Fundación Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires; Kunsthalle Hamburg; La Fundación Caixa Art Forum de Barcelona, Spain; La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Miami Art Museum; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Toulouse, France; Museo Nacional, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, among others.

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