January 18, 2015 - Promotora Cultural Cubo Blanco - Rolando López
January 18, 2015

Rolando López

Rolando López, Gran Fundición Mexicana façade, 2015. Replica of image from historic archive (ca. 1905), wet collodion, silver on glass, 22 x 35 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Rolando López
Guggenheim Museum Aguascalientes
January 22–March 20 2015

Casa del Tiempo
Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) 
Pedro Antonio de los Santos No. 84
San Miguel Chapultepec
Mexico City


Curated by Edgar Alejandro Hernández

The exhibition titled Guggenheim Museum Aguascalientes, by the Mexican artist Rolando López, criticizes the toxic legacy that the American industrialist Robert Solomon Guggenheim (1861–1949) left behind in the city of Aguascalientes. Guggenheim amassed part of his fortune through a contract that the Aguascalientes state government awarded him in 1894, which granted him several acres of land, tax-free, upon which he enjoyed exploitation of all natural resources. In this land, he established the Gran Fundición Central Mexicana mineral foundry in the state capital of Aguascalientes.

In the late 19th century, Guggenheim’s metallurgical company promised development and progress for Aguascalientes, but the expected economic boom never came. This did not prevent, however, indiscriminate resource extraction nor the over-exploitation of local workers. The foundry closed 30 years later and left behind nine acres of toxic industrial waste in an area known to this day as the Cerro de la Grasa (“hill of grease”).

Today, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is one of the “brands” that has best succeeded in developing its trans-national, hegemonic model as a cultural enterprise. Yet the origins of the fortune that allowed Robert Solomon Guggenheim to create the collection and cultural industry associated with his name has always remained secret. Rolando López has developed a corpus of work that includes performance, installations, public interventions, sculptures, photographs and artistic actions connected to social problems in Aguascalientes related to Solomon R. Guggenheim’s company.

Curated by Edgar Alejandro Hernández, Guggenheim Museum Aguascalientes is financed by Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and the Arts (acronym in Spanish: FONCA) and will open on January 22 at the Casa del Tiempo gallery at Mexico City’s Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM).

The show’s centerpiece, Guggenheim Museum Aguascalientes (2013–15), portrays the entire cultural program Rolando López developed with local Aguascalientes artists, as well as the architectural design for a utopian US-brand museum to be built on the site where the toxic industrial waste the Gran Fundición Central Mexicana is concentrated. This is Guggenheim’s real legacy to Mexico.

Press contact
info [​at​] guggenheimaguascalientes.com / T +52 (55) 5510 3079

Artist profile
Rolando López (b. 1978, Aguascalientes) holds an undergraduate degree in graphic design and an MA in Social Sciences and Humanities with an emphasis on communication from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes. He graduated from the SOMA México study program.

López has been twice named as a participant in Mexico’s National Young Artists’ Encounter (acronym in Spanish: ENAJ) and has been an Aguascalientes State Fund for Culture and the Arts (acronym in Spanish FECA) fellow as well as a FONCA alternative media fellow (2011–12).

He is a founding member of “The Agency,” civil association focused on education and artistic production.

In 2013, López was awarded an artistic residency at Angouleme, France’s École Supérieure de l’Image Européenne (EESI).

As an independent artist, López works on interdisciplinary projects using numerous theoretical, methodological and technical resources—among others—including print, photography, sculpture, installation and video.


Rolando López at Casa del Tiempo
Promotora Cultural Cubo Blanco
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