THE MISSION PROJECTS is pleased to announce Constructs, a solo show featuring new sculptures by Chicago-based artist Rodrigo Lara. The exhibition will include works created during his residency at Cerámica Suro.
As a Mexican immigrant in the United States, Lara’s work is informed by fragmented stories of memorialization, time, religion, ancestries, and his own experience of the endless process of becoming. Although classically trained in sculpture, he often eschews traditional ideologies and methods. His works are not always clean, finished, or beautiful. Instead, they break from these formal constructs. His sculptures, works on paper, and installations imagine a culture where portraiture and Catholic iconography are largely subsumed by indigenous visual languages, as well as other millennial religious artifacts and architecture from around the world.

When considering the human figure and its relationship to memorialization, thoughts of bronze statues at historical sites often come to mind. Lara’s interest, however, is in the way that memory — with its inherent, ever-changing fluidity — disrupts our ability to fully or truthfully freeze or memorialize people or perspectives in history. Instead, momentary glimpses of memory and hindsight drive how we understand the present. His sculptures are rendered with obvious nooks and gashes; broad, quick strokes; and secretive, featherlike fingerprints. It is this visceral and intimate approach to materials and form that evokes his subjects of memory and memorialization.

RODRIGO LARA (b. 1981, Mexico) received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2013 and a BFA from the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico in 2003. Lara has had solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Museo de Arte Moderno in the state of Mexico; Museo de la Ciudad in Querétaro, Mexico; Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago; the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago; C.G. Boerner in New York City; Kruger Gallery in Marfa, Texas; among others. Lara has two monographs of his work, Máscaras y Artefactos and Memorials. He won first prize in sculpture at the Premio Nacional de las Artes Visuales in Mexico in 2010. He has received several awards including: IAPG, DCASE, Chicago; Proyectos Especiales and Jóvenes Creadores, FONCA, Mexico City; Emerging Artist Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation, NYC; James Nelson Raymond Fellowship, 2013 SAIC; PECDA Estudios en el extranjero, IQCA; International Graduate Scholarship, SAIC; and the John W. Kurtich Travel Scholarship, SAIC, Berlin/Kassel, Germany, among others. He is an Assistant Professor and the Area Head of the Ceramics Department at the University of Notre Dame. He currently lives and works in Chicago.

Exhibition viewings available by appointment. Email to schedule.