Studio Lecture Series: Carlos Amorales

Thu November 10th 2022, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Event Sponsor
Department of Art & Art History
Oshman Hall
McMurtry Building, 355 Roth Way, Stanford, CA 94305

Stanford Department of Art & Art History's Millicent Greenwell Clapp Studio Lecture Series presents Carlos Amorales. 

In 2017, Mexican artist Carlos Amorales (1970) received a commission by the municipality of Utrecht, NL, to realize a five year long experimental public art project. For this project he decided to work with choirs and invented a language from the stand point as a foreigner, not in terms of cultural or national identity, but of artistic disciplines, since Amorales as a visual artist is a stranger in a world of choral music singers.

The language created by Amorales works as a methodology to communicate and create music in collaboration with amateur choirs. The signs drawn by the artist are meant be expressed as music, and by writing a graphic score to compose music, he also created a method to direct the choirs. Hence, in addition to being the composer he is also the conductor. In this sense, his proposal integrates a personal learning process by sharing and implementing this language with the choirs.

Since the beginning of his artistic practice, Amorales has been interested in the tension between (mis)understanding language. In the lecture that he will present at Stanford, he will share the process of this experimental public art project, and how this relates to other past projects were the artist worked with language, such as the film “Life in the Folds”, presented at the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennial and a previous public intervention were the typography of a cultural institution was turned illegible for 3 months.

About the Artist

Carlos Amorales is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the limits of language and translation systems to venture into the field of cultural experimentation. He uses graphic production as a tool to develop linguistic structures and alternative working models that allow new forms of interpretation and foster collectivity. In his projects, Amorales examines identity construction processes, proposes a constant re signification of forms present in his work, and provokes a clash between art and pop culture.

His research processes are complex; they are based in an ample repertoire of empirical methodologies to develop extensive projects that conjugate historical, cultural, and personal references. His practice expands to diverse media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or collage; as well as performance, installation, animation, sound art, film, writing, among other non- traditional formats.

He studied visual arts in the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, both in the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Ha has realized artistic residencies at Atelier Calder en Saché (2012) y mac/val en Vitry-sur-Seine (2011) in Francia, and as parte of the proramme Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in Washington (2010), United States.

The most extensive researches in his work encompass Los Amorales (1996-2001), Liquid Archive (1999-2010), Nuevos Ricos (2004-2009), and a typographic exploration in junction with cinema (2013-present).

Between his numerous individual exhibitions, we can mention: The Factory, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2019-2020); Axioms for Action, muac, unam (México, 2018) and MARCO (Monterrey, 2019); Working Tools, MAMM, (Medellin, 2017); Anti Tropicalia, Museo de Arte y Diseño (Costa Rica, 2015); Black Cloud, Power Plant, (Toronto, 2015); El Esplendor Geométrico, Kurimanzutto (México, 2015), Germinal, Museo Tamayo (Mexico City, 2013); Nuevos Ricos, Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel, 2010); Four Animations, Five Drawings and a Plague, Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008); Discarded Spider, Cincinnati Art Center (2008).

Some of his most outstanding collective exhibitions comprise: Under the Same Sun. Art From Latin America Today, Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2014); New Perspectives in Latin American Art, MoMA (New York, 2007); Mexico City: An Exhibition About The Exchange Rate of Bodies and Values, MoMA PS1 (New York, 2002); and performances as Amorales vs. Amorales, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris 2001), SF MoMA (San Francisco, 2003), and Tate Modern (London, 2003).

Additionally, he represented Mexico at the 57th Venice Biennale with the project Life in the Folds, and the Netherlands in the same Biennale in 2003. He has also participated in biennials like Manifesta 9 (Belgium, 2012), Biennale de la Habana (Cuba, 2015 y 2009), Performa (New York, 2007), Berlin Biennial (2001 y 2014), Manif d´art 8 The Québec Biennale 2017.

His works are available in international collections such as Museo Tamayo and the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City: Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; among others.

See link for his artwork from the Guggenheim museum's collection website.

Image courtesy of the artist.


Oshman Hall, McMurtry Building, is located at 355 Roth Way, Stanford. 

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