Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Calle Francisco Pimentel, 3
Colonia San Rafael, Mexico City
Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday to Monday: open by appointment
Zona Maco Art Week Hours (February 7-13)
Monday to Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Entry is free and open to the public
Mitchell-Innes & Nash is pleased to announce the opening of its new seasonal exhibition space and first presentation in Mexico City with Olvido, Sombra, Nada, an exhibition of works by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Lucas Samaras and Paul Mpagi Sepuya exploring the tension between acts of concealment and revelation within modes of portraiture. Hosted within the ground floor and courtyard of Galería Hilario Galguera in Colonia San Rafael, Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s debut exhibition in Mexico City will be on view from February 3–March 5, opening to the public ahead of Zona Maco Week. A reception will be held Tuesday, February 8th from 5-8pm.
The exhibition borrows its title from Mexican writer Octavio Paz’s early poem, “Espejo,” which considers the understanding and misunderstanding of the self through lenses of reflection. Each of the artists in the exhibition questions how deliberate obscurity, however partial, complicates the ways reflection operates as intent. In Samaras’s Sitting series (1978-80), ten of which will be on view, the artist inserts himself in the shadows of the composition. The Polaroid portraits of artists, curators, critics, and friends, posing nude, were shot in his New York studio, and markedly controversial at the time as Samaras both collapsed and emboldened the roles between the sitter and photographer.
Sepuya, too, pulls from his community of artists, lovers, friends and writers to reflect on the complexities of desire and collaboration. Incorporating thick black drop cloths, translucent screens, smudged mirrors and the figure, Sepuya highlights formal considerations of capture, concealment and exposure within particular sites of queer facility. As with the Studio series, the artist plays with the implications of tension and desire in the “Screen” works, where he complicates or heightens these sensitivities by silhouetting the figures with a translucent screen and puncturing that same screen through which only the lens of the camera is exposed. Here, formal methods of obscurity are used as a mode to uncover emotions far less tactile.
This thread of desire and portraiture through revelation extends to McClodden’s objects. On view are several leather objects, on which she performs boot blacking, the submissive act of polishing leather shoes to a hyper level of shine. The ensuing objects document a particular exchange– here, the subjectivity of McClodden as an identifying dominant is shifted– and provides a physical reflective quality for the viewer and surrounding works. Presented for the first time as a full suite of 65 prints is Se te subió el santo? (Are you in a trance?). Shot over ten days in Iowa, the self-portraits operate as a coming out for McClodden, who writes “my intention was to render a self-portrait that presented a full self, implicit of my gender, race, sexuality and spirituality while collapsing and challenging each identity as well.” Here, she takes on the custom of masking as a necessary method to complete this act of revelation. Olvido, Sombra, Nada marks McClodden’s first exhibition with Mitchell-Innes & Nash under the gallery’s representation.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden (b. 1981, Blytheville, US) is a visual artist, filmmaker, and curator whose work explores and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and social commentary. McClodden’s interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Her works have exhibited worldwide, including at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum, New York; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; MOCA, Los Angeles; MCA, Chicago, and MoMA PS1, New York, amongst others. Most recently she is the recipient of the 2021 Andy Warhol Arts Writers Grant, 2021-2023 Princeton Arts Fellowship, a Bucksbaum Award for her work in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (2019), among others.
Lucas Samaras (b. 1936, Macedonia, Greece) is best known for an oeuvre that focuses on the body and psyche, often emphasizing autobiography. Gesturing toward a larger investigation of self-reflection in his work, found in his mirror rooms, self-portraiture, and use of digital mirror-imaging, Samaras’s practice acts as an extension of his body while underscoring the transformative possibilities of the everyday—a true blurring of art and life. Major exhibitions have been staged at MoMA, New York; Kunstverein Museum, Hanover; Albright-Knox, Buffalo, US; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Venice Biennial; and Yokohoma Museum of Art, Japan.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, US) is a visual artist whose work highlights the constructed nature of the photographic document and the performative space of the photographic studio, embracing the medium’s potentials for fragmentation and connection. In Sepuya’s closeup studies of human forms, subjects are enmeshed in creative, desirous exchanges. Through revealing his own tools and apparatuses, Sepuya presents artificial, enigmatic scenes that raise questions about the medium’s processes of exposure and concealment, the relationship between surface and depth, and the connection between the lens and the mirror as devices of capture and reflection. Sepuya’s work has been the subject of exhibitions at CAM, St. Louis, US; Studio Museum in Harlem, US; Fotomuseum, Amsterdam; MOCA Los Angeles, US; ICA Philadelphia, US; MoMA, New York, US; and the New Museum, New York, US.