A few weeks before the opening of her first solo museum show, Mexican artist Renata Morales was firing up the kiln at Cerámica Suro in Guadalajara. Morales, who’s based part-time in Montreal, is an artist-in-residence at the high-end ceramics production studio. At the moment, she was working on several ceramic totems and hand-painted plates, which are now on view at her exhibition at Dallas Contemporary.
The exhibit, titled “Inane and mundane evolutionary tales of fear love and horror,” showcases the various threads of Morales’ creative practice, and includes more than 700 of her ceramic sculptures and drawings, as well as a video piece.
“It’s all interwoven; it’s a constant process to try and evolve in mediums that are not exactly the same,” says Morales, whose multimedium practice includes textile design and jewelry. “You can learn from one to the other, and you can see how you transform one into the other because of the different materials.”
Her work will be on view through fall 2022, and Morales plans to have the show evolve over the course of its run, adding and changing the ceramics on view and adding new paintings to the wall, which is practically wallpapered with her colorful, expressive figures.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Morales also created a line of sweatshirts (with a streetwear sensibility) and ceramic plates in collaboration with Cerámica Suro that are available to purchase.
Morales’s career has been marked by collaboration, most notably with musicians. As a costume designer, she has worked with Grimes and Arcade Fire, as well as director Spike Jonze. “I love music, and it’s my way of trying to get as close as possible to what I respect so highly as an art form,” she says.
As part of her residency at Cerámica Suro, Morales has been developing new techniques to make ceramic jewelry. She’s been incorporating resin, as well as collaborating with a metalworker and friend who works with glass. The creativity of the studio’s neighborhood, Tlaquepaque, is also informing a new line of streetwear, influenced by local musicians and traditional textiles she encounters on the street.
“It’s been such heaven for me here,” says Morales. “It’s artistically very fertile. I learn everyday just by watching people.”
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