Skip to content

Biography

MIGUEL ANGEL RÍOS (b. 1943, Argentina/Lives in New York and Mexico)

"...I make visible the violent moment in which we live, where we feel that life has no value. It is competition, power, violence, and chaos. The viewer may choose to identify with the powerful or with the vulnerable..."

Miguel Angel Ríos studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires before moving to New York in the 1970s to escape the military dictatorship in Argentina. He subsequently relocated to Mexico and now divides his time between the U.S. and Mexico.

In his work, Ríos pairs a rigorous conceptual approach with a meticulously constructed, often handmade aesthetic. Since the 1970s, he has made work about the concept of the "Latin American," using this idea as both an artistic strategy and a political problem. In the 1990s, he began creating a series of maps, which he carefully folded and pleated by hand. Marking the 500th anniversary of the "discovery" of the Americas, the maps indicate long histories of power and colonial experience, and they reference traditional indigenous arts in the Americas, including the Andean quipu.  

Since the early-2000s, Ríos has also delved into the medium of video to create symbolic narratives about human experience, violence, and mortality. His videos of spinning tops--trompos--use the childhood game of tops as a backdrop for a meditation on the transience of life and the mechanics of power. In his 2012 Untitled video from The Ghost of Modernity, Ríos references high Modernism--with direct nods to John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, and Donald Judd--in the midst of the Mexican desert. "Is this ghostly geometric figure a lens through which the world can be reinterpreted?" the artist asks. "Or is it the paradigmatic principle of modernist thought that organizes the world around it? Are we inside or outside the cube?" 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019
No Way Out, Roda Sten Konsthall Gothenburg, Sweden
Miguel Angel Ríos:  Torn to Shreds, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, Houston, TX, USA
Miguel Angel Ríos: On the Edge, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA

2017
Miguel Angel Rios:  A Morir (To the Death) Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC USA
Miguel Angel Rios: Neither Colour, nor height, MUCEM, Marseilles, France 
Miguel Angel Rios: Acirema, No es agua Ni Arena la Orilla del Mar, Espaivisor Galeria Visor, Valencia Spain

2015
Landlocked, Arizona State University Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Endless, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX

2013
Folding Borders, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX
Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City, Mexico

2012
Museé d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne, France
Miguel Angel Ríos: Walkabout, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico (with exhibition catalogue)

2011
Miguel Angel Ríos, Alonso Garces Galeria, Bogotá, Colombia
Miguel Angel Ríos, Ruth Benzacar Galeria, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mecha, Nederlans Instituut voor Mediakunst, The Netherlands

2010
Miguel Angel Ríos, Galeria Andres Millan, São Paulo, Brazil
Miguel Angel Ríos, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin City Council, New Zealand

2009
Miguel Angel Ríos, Malba-Fundacíon Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
On The Edge, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), San Diego, CA
Miguel Angel Ríos, EVO Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), Paris, France
Crudo, Galerie Akinci, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2008
A Morir, Sala de Arte Contemporáneo, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Aquí, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Crudo, LA><ART, Los Angeles, CA
White Suit, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany

2007
Aquí, Ex-convento de Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico; Blaffer Art Museum at University of Houston, Houston, TX and EVO Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
On The Edge, Marco Noire Contemporary Art, Torino, Italy and ARCO, Madrid, Spain
Fuego Amigo, Ex-convento de la Natividad, Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico
A Morir, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Aquí, Galeria Milan Antonio, São Paulo, Brazil
Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Ríos, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX

2006
Serie Homenaje a Robert Mapplethorpe, Galería Nina Menocal, Mexico City, Mexico
On The Edge, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY
Miguel Angel Ríos: Love, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL

2005
Love, Marco Noire Contemporary Art, Torino, Italy
Miguel Angel Ríos, Ruth Benzacar Galeria, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Miguel Angel Ríos, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

2004
A Morir, Art Unlimited, Marco Noire Contemporary Art, Art Basel, Switzerland

2003
Miguel Angel Ríos, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles, CA
Miguel Angel Ríos, Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin, Germany
Ni me busques…no me encuentras, White Box, New York, NY
A Morir, Artists Space, New York, NY

2002
Ni me busques…no me encuentras, Basel Art Unlimited, Project Room, Marco Noire Contemporary Art, Basel, Switzerland

2001
El viaje del botanista, Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela

1999
Manhattan Códice, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico and John Weber Gallery, New York, NY

1998
Los Vientos del Sur, Ruth Benzacar Galeria, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1995
Miguel Angel Ríos, Wohn Maschine Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Miguel Angel Ríos, John Weber Gallery, New York, NY

1993
Así en la tierra como en el cielo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Monterrey, Mexico
Miguel Angel Ríos, John Weber Gallery, New York, NY

1992
Miguel Angel Ríos, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Miguel Angel Ríos, Gallery Der Brucke, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Miguel Angel Ríos, Gallery Ramis Barquet, Monterrey, Mexico
Miguel Angel Ríos: El juego y el dolor, Galeria de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City, Mexico

1991
Miguel Angel Ríos, Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, NY and ARCO, Madrid, Spain

1989
Miguel Angel Ríos, Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New York, NY

1988
Galeria de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City, Mexico

1984
Allen/Wincor Gallery, New York, NY

1983
Ueda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 

1980
Ueda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan 

Selected Public Collections

21 C Museum Hotel, Lexington, KY, USA

Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia

Cisneros Fontalnals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA

Colección Isabel y Augustín Coppel

Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, NY, USA

Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Fundación Arte y Mecenazgo, "La Caixa", Barcelona, Spain

Fundación Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., USA

La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA

Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA

Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo (MEIAC), Badajoz, Spain

Museo Nacional, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY, USA

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami, FL, USA

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

The Art, a Hotel, Denver, CO, USA

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, USA