Born in 1982 in Mexico City, Marco Rountree Cruz is one of the most promising yet understated artists on Mexico´s emerging scene. Self-taught, he developed a passion for drawing at a young age. In fact he came to art as a teenager via graffiti and then skateboarding and music, which brought him into the circle of La Panadería, an artist-run space founded by Miguel Calderón and Yoshua Okón in Mexico City (1994-2002), "I was lucky to live in Mexico City in the 1990s, to be involved with the 1990s generation, ´Rountree Cruz says, "I was able to meet these artists and learn from them without being intimidated by them.  ´To compensate for his lack of academic training, friends and fellow artists gave him books to read, thus inspiring the first series of works that brought him critical acclaim. Untitled, like most of his pieces, these pieces consist of books with their pages folded, ´I am a bad reader´, the artist says ´I don´t usually read books, but I love the movement. When you fold pages, you make movement graphic. ´Reduced to geometrical shapes such as cylinders or hemispheres, the books become formal objects rather than items of everyday use. This shift in function is further enhanced by their display on wooden units such as shelves and tables that Rountree Cruz created himself and that mimic Minimalist installations. Cut-out books also inspired a series of collages of broken-up words that evoke musical scores, one of his other passions.

A reinterpretation of domestic objects and an interest in spatial organisation, both recurring aspects of Rountree Cruz´s oeuvre, are found in his other signature piece, an ongoing series of wall drawings realised with masking tape. These large-scale, ephemeral installations are created directly on the wall without preparatory  sketches- a tribute to his  well-honed drawing skills and early career as a graffiti artist. Initially he used ordinary blue masking tape found in Mexico City´s street markets, but he has since employed a broarder range of colours. The mostly abstract, colourful installations recall wall drawings by Sol LeWitt, an artist whom Rountree Cruz admires, although figures in the Socialist Realist style appear in some works as a humorous reference to the famed Mexican muralists of the 1930s.

These ephemeral installations contrast with major architectural commissions Rountree Cruz has received in spite of his young age, such as a 10-by-7-netre, 3-tonne ceiling piece in the lobby of a corporate building in Guadalajara, or the swing sculpture he created in 2011 for the Botanical Garden in Culiacán. Rountree Cruz´s most ambitious project to date was a site-specific installation for the Proyectos Monclova gallery Mexico City (2009).

Entitled Concepción Béistegui 831 (the address of his home/studio), it was conceived as an homage to an uncle who had died from the complications of drug addiction. Bathed in red light, the installation consisted of a combination of objects and furniture from the house they both lived in together with recreated objects [many of them interactive] such as a swing that visitors were invited to use. This deeply emotional but nonetheless playful installation recalled the Cosmococa series by the Brazilian Hélio Oiticica, whom Rountree Cruz greatly admires. He also counts the German artist Martin Kippenberger as one of his heroes. On his list of future projects, music production features prominently - in fact, he and the band he has formed have been signed by an important Mexican studio - as does his as yet unrealised dream of training as an architect.

 

 

MARCO ROUNTREE

Mexico City, MX, 1982

Marco Rountree Cruz’s entire career has been built as a practical answer to the question: Who is an artist? What does an artist do? In Marco’s specific case his being self-taught is fundamental to understanding the idea of the artist’s calling. His attention is directed to all kinds of things: small and big, important and trivial, and it is through the mixing and transformation of these things that his practice as a visual artist earns its meaning.

In his use of everyday things and materials he intentionally “upgrades” them to transform them into decorative objects. For Rountreee it is indeed the concept of ornamentation what turns a common object or a trivial material into a special one, what brings it out of its natural environment and inserts it into the art field. 

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016

Muralismo Floritural – Galería La Caja Negra, Madrid, España

Pop Up Summer (Faldas y plantas) – Proyecto Paralelo. Ciudad de México

2013

Post Concepción – Gabrielle Maubrie Gallery. París Francia

El Club del Aburrimiento – Proyecto Paralelo. Ciudad de México

2011

Walking Objects - Art Exchange, University of Essex. Essex, Inglaterra

Toilet Paradiso - White Cubicle Gallery. Londres, Inglaterra

La Casa del Dr. Caligari - Travesía Cuatro. Madrid, España

2010

Sin Título - Museo de Arte Querétaro. Querétaro, México

2009

Colección Otoño Invierno - Valenzuela Klenner. Bogotá, Colombia

2008

Concepción Béistegui 831 - Proyectos Monclova. Ciudad de México

2007

Extensión considerada en una sola de sus tres dimensiones - Galería Seattle. Guadalajara, México

Unidad Indivisible - Valenzuela Klenner. Bogotá, Colombia

2006

Romero Solo - Proyectos Monclova. Ciudad de México

2005

Sin Título - Proyectos Monclova. Ciudad de México

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017

One Love, One Life, One Parking - Ciudad de México

2015

Días Feriados – Bitácora, Bogotá, Colombia

True Story – Proyectos Monclova. Ciudad de México

Rastros y Vestigios. Indagaciones sobre el presente – Instituto Cultural Cabañas. Jalisco, México

2013

Formas y Pasajes - Centro de las Artes, Parque Fundidora. Monterrey, México

Arquitectura Moderna en África – Machete. Ciudad de México.

Proyecto realizado con Enrique Giner de los Ríos

2012

Poule! - Colección Jumex. Ciudad de México

Tiempo de Sospecha - Museo de Arte Moderno. Ciudad de México

La Bibliotheque Comme Memoire - Gallery Gabrielle Maubrie. Paris, Francia

2011

Jardín Botánico Culiacán. Sinaloa, México. Proyecto permanente

Pescado de Abril - Galería Desire Saint Phalle. Ciudad de México. Proyecto realizado en conjunto con Rodolfo Díaz

Optimismo Radical - Josee Bienvenu Gallery. Nueva York, EE.UU.

2010

Todas las Historias son Historias de Amor - Galería Desire Saint Phalle. Ciudad de México

Draw - Museo de la Ciudad de México. Ciudad de México

El Arte del Hogar - Galería Caja Blanca. Ciudad de México.

2009

Nejushtan - La Vitrina. Guadalajara, México. Proyecto realizado en conjunto con Rodolfo Diaz

Nothingness and the Being - Colección Jumex. Ciudad de México

Formas Literarias - 2da Trienal Poligráfica. San Juan Puerto Rico

Conversations 2 - Travesía Cuatro. Madrid, España

2008

El Norte del Sur - Galería Baro Cruz. Sao Paulo, Brasil

This is not a Void - Galería Luisa Strina. Sao Paulo, Brasil

An Unruly History of the Readymade - Colección Jumex. Ciudad de México

Love Love Love - Martos Gallery Nueva York, EE.UU.

2007 Hang ART Edición 7. Salzburgo, Austria

YAK - La Planata. Guadalajara, México