Exhibition | Margarita Cabrera: Engendering New Landscapes | Contemporary Art at Ruiz-Healy Art | New York, NY | Art Week

Margarita Cabrera: Engendering New Landscapes

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Thursday, 12 September 2019
Thursday, 12 September 2019 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm

Margarita Cabrera: Engendering New Landscapes
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12, 6:00-8:00 PM
74 East 79th Street, 2D, New York City, NY 10075

Ruiz-Healy Art is proud to present Margarita Cabrera, Engendering New Landscapes, opening 
Thursday, September 12th with an artist reception from 6 to 8 PM. The exhibition will feature the 
artist’s signature sewn soft sculptures from the Space in Between series depicting desert cacti, as 
well as a new series titled Pepita Para El Loro Para Que Hable o Calle. The sculptural pieces 
will be in dialogue with new works on paper comprised of collage with United States border 
patrol uniform fabric, and cochineal dye drawings. Limited-edition prints related to some of her 
collaborative community work such as UPLIFT and Craft of Resistance will also be on display.
Born in Mexico, Cabrera calls El Paso, Texas home. Cabrera earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts 
and Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College, City University of New York. From a 
young age, Cabrera was introduced to Mexican craft and folk-art traditions and as a student at 
Hunter College was educated in visual aesthetics rooted in the Western Canon, both of which 
have had a heavy influence in her oeuvre. In recent years, Margarita Cabrera has split her 
practice between her individual work and art collaborations. Cabrera’s art collaborations produce 
work that engages communities through transformative practices on both sides of the 
Mexico/United States border and has served as an active investigation into the challenges facing 
immigrant communities such as fair and safe working conditions and economic and cultural 

Space in Between is a socially engaged community collaboration inspired by the word Nepantla, 
a Nahuatl Aztec term meaning “the space in the middle” where marginalized cultures create 
strategies for survival. Late scholar, activist, and author of Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria 
Anzaldua states that Nepantla refers to the process of creating alternative spaces to live, function, 
or create, particularly in the United States/Mexico borderlands. Sewn out of United States border 
patrol uniforms, the Space in Between sculptures represent various life-size cacti native in the 
southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The surface of these collaborative works 
features embroidery crafted by immigrant workers that relay compelling border crossing stories 
that share with the audience a true and honest depiction of immigrant communities.
The Space in Between cacti sculptures will be in dialogue with Cabrera’s most recent United 
States border patrol uniform sculpture series, Pepita Para El Loro Para Que Hable o Calle
whose title is inspired by an old Mexican saying that translates to “A nugget for the parrot so that 
it speaks or stays quiet.” This new series represents the endangered species of Mexican parrots 
who are at risk of extinction due to their legal import into the American pet trade. Cabrera’s 
invitation to initiate a mimicking interaction between the talking parrot sculptures with their 
audience introduces a satirical light on complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise and instills the 
question of its origin in all who are present.
Cabrera’s UPLIFT print series will also be showcased. The printed editioned work corresponds 
to a 2015 public art sculpture commissioned by the City of El Paso that addressed the 
overcoming of violence along the Mexico/United States border. Citizens of El Paso and Juarez 
attended the community workshops and drew personal motifs in papel picado (cut paper) for the 
representation of 600 sculptural birds. The designs were translated into cut-metal with welded 
fragments of confiscated guns donated by the local Sheriff. UPLIFT represents a flock of birds 
beginning to take flight. The project is ongoing, and it is Cabrera’s hope that the sculpture will 
find a home in its intended location in El Paso.

About Ruiz-Healy Art
Ruiz-Healy Art was founded in 2004 in San Antonio, Texas by Patricia Ruiz-Healy, Ph. D. and 
in 2019, a second location was opened in New York City. The gallery represents Latin 
American, Latinx, and Texas-based mid-career and established artists. Ruiz-Healy Art 
specializes in presenting conceptual art that reflects the complicated identity and social issues of 
our time as well as artworks pertaining to a geometric abstraction aesthetic. The gallery is proud 
to be the exclusive representative of the Estate of Chuck Ramirez. As member dealers of the 
International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA), Ruiz-Healy Art demonstrates a high level 
of expertise and adhere to a strict code of conduct with professional integrity.
Margarita Cabrera: Engendering New Landscapes will be on view from 
September 12 to November 2, 2019

Artist ( Name ):

Artist ( Description ): 

B. 1973
Margarita Cabrera received an MFA from Hunter College in New York, NY. Cabrera is an assistant professor at
the Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Her most recent institutional solo
exhibitions include: Margarita Cabrera: It is Impossible to Cover the Sun with a Finger, ​Dallas Contemporary,
Dallas, TX and Margarita Cabrera: Space in Between​, Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY;  
PERILOUS BODIES​, Ford Foundation Gallery, New York, NY; The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp​at the New
Orleans “Prospect 4” and The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility​at Los Angeles Craft &
Folk Art Museum count as group exhibits where her work has rececntly been included.
Cabrera's work centers on social-political community issues including cultural identity, migration, violence,
inclusivity, labor, and empowerment. She has worked on a number of collaborative projects at the intersection
of contemporary art practices, indigenous Mexican folk art and craft traditions, and US-Mexico relations. In
addition to studying and preserving endangered cultural and craft traditions, these projects have served as active
investigations into the creation of just working conditions and the protection of immigrant rights.
Her work has been included in the survey’s organized by, amongst others, Los Angeles County Museum of Art;
Smithsonian Museum of American Art; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston;
McNay Museum San Antonio; the Sweeney Art Center for Contemporary Art at the University of California,
Riverside, and El Museo del Barrio, NYC.
In 2012 she was a recipient of the Knight Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte,
NC. Cabrera was also a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and an Artpace San Antonio
International Artist in Residence in 2008. In 2019 her public art project  Árbol de la Vida: Voces de la Tierra
was unveiled at Mission San Francisco de la Espada in San Antonio, Texas.
Cabrera’s work is part of the permanent collection of more than twenty museums.


Venue ( Name ):

Venue ( Address ): 

74 East 79th Street, 2D, New York City, NY 10075

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Other shows from Ruiz-Healy Art

Don’t Tell Me to Smile
11/14/2019 to 12/11/2019
Margarita Cabrera: Engendering New Landscapes
05/03/2019 to 07/27/2019


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