Ángela Gurría

Born in 1929 in Mexico City, Gurría studied at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature in the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México). She was student of the sculptor German Cueto, introducer of abstractionism within sculptural forms, at the current University of the Americas.
She continued her training in different ateliers, as Mario Zamora’s workshop, the Abraham Gonzalez Foundry and Montiel Blanca’s workshop. Her sculptural production took off in the 1950s and began experimenting with different materials and techniques. Her sculptural trajectory goes then from a religious symbolic tendency to abstractionism.
Known for her monumental sculptures and her metal and stone work, Ángela Gurría is known as one of Mexico’s most important sculptors of the 20th century.
In 1974 she joined the National Academy of Arts as a member, being the first woman accepted in such institution. She was invited by Mathias Goeritz to participate in the Friendship Route, an open space sculpture project in Mexico City. Together with Mathias Goeritz, Geles Cabrera, Juan Luis Diaz and Sebastian, joined the artistic group “GUCADIGOSE”.
She made important contributions to the urban landscape in Mexico City with projects such as her Tribute to the Ceiba Tree, in The Presidente Chapultepec Hotel, and the Monument to Mexico in Tijuana, Baja California. In addition, her monumental sculpture The River Papaloapan sits at the entrance of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City. In 1967, she obtained first prize at the III Mexican Biennale of Sculpture.


For the first iteration of SOUTH SOUTH, PROYECTOS MONCLOVA is presenting a selection of works by five artists, including: Gabriel de la Mora, Néstor Jiménez, Edgar Orlaineta, Michael Sailstorfer and Anna Virnich. All five artists, while producing widely different work, focus their practice on the idea and physicality of process. The geometric works of Gabriel de la Mora are multifaceted in their subject and materiality. Through his obsessive practice of accumulating and fragmenting pigmented feathers, the artist combines his meticulous craftsmanship with conceptual investigations that result in evocative and abstract configurations. Similarly, Jiménez collects construction materials from houses and projects found in the outskirts of Mexico City as a way of examining the relationship between the processes of destruction, construction, distortion and propagation of Marxist-Leninist thought within social structures in the outskirts of Mexico City. By incorporating the construction materials that are widely used among these low-income areas, the result is a comprehensive pictorial group of work that also absorbs the architectural elements that were essential to these political movements. Edgar Orlaineta’s hand carved wooden wall sculptural works also reveal a knowledge and an intimate contact with the manual process, where what takes precedence over figure and ground is the sensuous matter that transforms intuition into a language. Also working with sculptural wall works is Michael Sailstorfer whose ‘masks’ are sand-cast in aluminum, bronze or iron from quickly drafted cardboard figures in a process that preserves the textures of the humble materials. Lastly, PROYECTOS MONCLOVA presents two tableaus by Anna Virnich. Virnich’s artistic practice focuses on textile-based works, incorporating and layering found fabrics as well as new materials, which the artist stretches on wooden frames thus creating organic and almost painterly compositions that oscillate between transparency and density, foreground and background, agility and standstill. Virnich’s gesture of stretching creates a perceptible tension between the elements: the roughness of a leather-cut-out meets the delicacy of sewn silk.