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Mexican Artist Spends 40 Years Drawing Infinity

Eduardo Terrazas blends yarn and wax to manipulate the same geometric structures ad infinitum.

by Noémie Jennifer
Sep 4 2015, 2:35pm

Possibilities of a Structure: Grid 1.4.12, 1974-2015. Wool yarn on wooden board covered with Campeche wax. 35 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. All images © Eduardo Terrazas, courtesy Timothy Taylor, London

Acclaimed Mexican artist Eduardo Terrazas does not shy away from a long-term project: Since the mid-'70s, he's been working on a series of works entitled Possibilities of a Structure. The works go on view today at Timothy Taylor gallery in London, marking the 79-year-old artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

For Possibilities, Terrazas manipulates the same geometric structures ad infinitum, finding new ways to manipulate form and color while drawing within set lines. Through these permutations, he gives shape to the infinite possibilities of the universe, knowing full well that the potential for different variations is, in fact, inexhaustible.

Exhibition view. Courtesy Timothy Taylor, London.

Trained as an architect at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Cornell University in New York, Terrazas first rose to prominence as the co-designer of the logo and branding for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. The logo’s concentric circles inspired drawing experiments that explored the formal relationships of various geometric elements. The drawings, in turn, led to the yarn works, whose process is appropriated from Huichol (Wixáritari) folk art.

The colors, texture, and subtle imperfections of the works give a warmer touch to their formal, graphic compositions. The references to early 20th century European abstraction are evident, but the technique employed has a much longer history. Terrazas lived and worked with Huichol craftsman Santos Motoaaopohua de la Torre de Santiago for many years, who passed on his knowledge of traditional methods. In yarn painting—once used to create ritual artifacts, and since become a tool for kitschy souvenirs—a wooden panel is covered in Campeche wax, and the wool yarn is pressed into the wax to draw.

Possibilities of a Structure: Nine Circles 1.2.15, 2014-2015. Wool yarn on wooden board covered with Campeche wax. 59 1/2 x 59 1/2 in.

Possibilities of a Structure: Cosmos 1.1.13, 1976-2015. Wool yarn on wooden board covered with Campeche wax. 47 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.

Possibilities of a Structure: Cosmos 1.1.11, 1974-2015. Wool yarn on wooden board covered with Campeche wax. 47 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.

The new show at Timothy Taylor, on view until October 3, offers a glimpse into the artist’s prolific career. To see more work by Eduardo Terrazas, go here.

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