Minerva Cuevas


oil on canvas dipped in chapopote
18 1/2 x 15 3/8 x 1 1/8; 23 7/8 x 16 1/8 x 1 1/8; 24 3/8 x 12 1/4 x 1 1/8 inches

Minerva Cuevas’ work might take a number of forms – painting, installation, and performance – but all share her desire to infiltrate systems of power. She tackles political, historical, social, and capitalist structures to comment on situations of injustice or inequality. Here, three found paintings (the type one might find in a thrift store) have been dipped in chapopote, the Nahuatl term for tar or asphalt. In Mexico (and abroad), chapopote has a variety of associations, from construction projects to industrial spills. In Cuevas’ work, the landscape has been coated in layers of the sticky black material, producing a striking comment on the effects of the oil industry on the beauty of the natural world. Cuevas’ work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at museums worldwide, among them Museo de la Ciudad de México; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.