For decades, artist Mary Paz Cervera (born 1967, Mexico City) has made paintings and sculptures that evoke death and affirm life. The textured surfaces of her work, often created using encaustic media or involving collage, reflect an approach that is at times personal and at others environmental or cultural. Family is depicted, but so is wildlife and those affected by institutional violence. This exhibition features two recent bodies of artwork, each reflecting a different perspective and realized in a different media. Hanging on the walls are more than a half dozen paintings from Cervera’s 2015 series “Vuelo Rojo” (“Red Flight”). Each painting is nearly five feet wide and depicts a flock of birds soaring in a wash of celestial silver pigment, yet surrounded ominously by a red halo. As companions to the paintings, in the center of the gallery hang sculptures from the artist’s 2019 series “Perséfone” (“Persephone”). In this series, Cervera examines gender-based violence through the lens of a Greek myth, about the kidnapping of a goddess resulting in the withering of life on earth. The sculptures on view are dresses—for different bodies and occasions—woven from crime scene tape, evoking female victims through absent bodies. The paintings and sculptures by Mary Paz Cervera in Elegy provide a chance to consider what death—and thus life—means to each of us.
Support for this exhibition provided by the Consulate General of Mexico, AMEXCID, Centro Cultural Mexicano Paso Del Norte, the Hotel at Sunland Park Racetrack, El Paso Museum of Art Foundation, and El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.