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Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Works of art from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean range from ancient cultures to cutting-edge artists of today. Among the highlights are the Glassell Collection of Pre-Columbian Gold and the museum’s growing collection of modern and contemporary art by Latin American and Latino artists.

© Teresa Margolles
Mexican, born 1963
Lote Bravo
400 mud bricks

Variable dimensions

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided by the Latin American Experience Gala and Auction, with additional gifts from Mary and Roy Cullen; Sofia Adrogué; P. C. and Sten Gustafson; Celina and Alfredo Brener; Brad and Leslie Bucher; Eduardo and Eugenia Grüneisen; Bruce and Diane Halle; Gonzalo Parodi; and Robert J. Card, M.D., and Karol Kreymer in honor of Gilbert Vicario

Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Teresa Margolles creates art that addresses the transition between life and death that she encountered through her work as a lab technician at the state-run forensic medical services agency in Mexico City know as SEMEFO. In past projects she has collected recycled water from the morgue to create ephemeral installations out of soap bubbles and mist.

Turning her attention north, Margolles focuses on the astounding number of women found murdered along the Mexico/U.S. border near Ciudad Juárez and El Paso. In the 2005 video work Lote Bravo, Lomas de Poleo, Anapra y Cristo Negro, Margolles displays empty roads, dirt lots, and desert gullies to provide a glimpse into the isolated landscape of the region. This related piece features rough, brick-like objects from sand that Margolles collected from more than 100 locations in and around Ciudad Juárez where corpses of sexually abused women have been found. Although the numbers of bricks cannot be correlated to the numbers of missing women, they nonetheless stand as silent witnesses.