I Am Not Your Mexican at Ruiz-Healy Art in San Antonio explores how Mexican and Mexican American artists have expanded the limitations of Post-Minimalism.
I Am Not Your Mexican
June 7–September 9, 2023
Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio
I am not your Mexican. Immediately we, the viewers, are directly confronted, our partiality challenged the moment we enter the gallery. Although the artwork within the show is largely abstract, the compelling title instantly situates the work into a cultural and historical narrative.
Curator and writer Eduardo Egea organized the group exhibition as an exploration into how Mexican and Mexican American artists have expanded the limitations of Post-Minimalism, a movement which, like many, has largely been defined by Western artists. I Am Not Your Mexican, which is showing concurrently at the gallery’s two locations in San Antonio and New York, showcases historic works ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s by Mathias Goeritz, Hersúa, and Teresa Serrano, as well as more contemporary explorations by Jesse Amado, Willy Kautz-Jippies Asquerosos, and Fernando Polidura.
The title of the exhibition derives from a series of works by San Antonio-based artist Jesse Amado of the same name, which is a direct reference to the 2016 documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, based on the writings of James Baldwin.
Two pieces by Amado call upon food as a representation of his socio-cultural identity and economic status. In I Am Not Your Mexican: Rhapsody in Blue, Gazing North Beyond the Broken Fence (2021), a nearly indistinguishable piece of chicharrón (pork rind) is mounted and painted over on a bright cobalt blue canvas. Similarly, in Take Out Chicken Fried Steak (2023), he bends and manipulates styrofoam takeout containers into abstract forms.
By considering a handful of works by a few key artists, the show serves as a micro-exploration into how minimalist aesthetics have been subverted and renegotiated historically as a form of cultural critique in Mexico, as well as how contemporary artists continue this conceptual dialogue today.
Teresa Serrano’s cold steel sculptures are paired with slightly more intimate materials such as mesh and mirrors. The structures immediately reminded me of dishwashers or air conditioning units, inserting a domestic element and feminist undertones to counter the industrial and masculine nature of the works. Meanwhile, Goeritz and Kautz’s use of gold leaf elevates their artwork to spiritual or divine relics.
The aim of I Am Not Your Mexican is not merely to reinsert Mexican contributions into a legacy that has historically excluded them, but to reassess the potential of Post-Minimalism as seen through the work of Latin American artists. The exhibition serves as a reminder that there is always more to consider.