For immediate release 
June 17, 2023

Kira Houston, Outreach Coordinator
828.350.8484 |

Black Mountain College and Mexico

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
June 2, 2023 – September 9, 2023
RAUSCHENBERG: A Gift in Your Pocket From the Collections of Friends in Honor of Bradley Jeffries

Left: Gabriel Orozco, Isadora’s Necklace, 2003. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, NY. Right: Anni Albers, Knot 2, 1947. Courtesy The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, CT.

Black Mountain College and Mexico (BMC/MX): Exhibition, Publication, and Public Programming

Black Mountain College (1933–1957), a small but remarkably influential liberal arts school in rural North Carolina, had important links to Mexico that until now have been little investigated. A crucible of twentieth-century creativity, BMC galvanized and inspired artists and intellectuals from around the world, while Mexico’s innovations and age-old traditions—in fine and applied arts, architecture, poetry, music, performance, and more—dovetailed with, and indeed drove, global impulses toward modernism and beyond. Among the many key BMC figures whose lives were importantly touched by experiences in Mexico were Anni and Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa, John Cage, Jean Charlot, Elaine de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Carlos Mérida, Robert Motherwell, Charles Olson, Clara Porset, M.C. Richards, and Aaron Siskind. In turn, engagements with BMC and its legacy have played a significant role in shaping contemporary approaches to art in Mexico, evident in the works of Jorge Méndez Blake, Iñaki Bonillas, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jose Dávila, Gerda Gruber, Lake Verea, Gabriel Orozco, and Damián Ortega, among others.

The exhibition BMC/MX features works by these and other prominent contemporary Mexican artists alongside a selection of historic works by BMC artists, highlighting the ways in which ideas and modalities are translated across materials, space, and time.

Related programming, planned in collaboration with Mexican artists, features a series of public events, including a performance by artist (and BMC/MX co-curator) David Miranda to take place at Different Wrld; an exhibition visit (in Spanish and English) with BMC/MX Project Director Eric Baden; and a series of experiential art events in the BMCM+AC library. 

The exhibition is accompanied by the book Black Mountain College and Mexico (forthcoming late summer 2023), which investigates the people, ideas, and practices linking BMC and Mexico during the life of the school, as well as resonances between BMC and the work of contemporary Mexican artists. With contributions by BMC/MX‘s curators, as well as by artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, design scholar Ana Elena Mallet, and author and activist Margaret Randall, this fully illustrated volume brings new light to this complex and underexplored subject.

BMC/MX is an investigation into modes of communication—the arenas in which new ideas and alliances may come to be—between Black Mountain College and Mexico, between past and present, between form and idea.

About the Curators 

BMC/MX’s Project Director Eric Baden is a photographer and from 1994 to 2022 was professor of photography at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. He is the founding director of photo+, a multidisciplinary arts event held in Asheville, North Carolina.

Artist and educator David Miranda is curator at the Museo Experimental El Eco (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM), and teaches at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City.

Diana Stoll is an editor, writer and curator who works with institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has served as an editor at Aperture and Artforum magazines, and contributes writings to prominent arts publications.

Related Programs

Opening Reception for BMC/MX
Friday, June 2, 2023 – 5:30–8pm
@ Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street, Asheville, NC}

David Miranda: Open Studio & Theorem of Apocryphal Manifestos
Tuesday, May 30th – Thursday, June 1, 2023 from 1-4pm @ REVOLVE {821 Riverside Dr. #179}
+ Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 at 8PM @ DIFFERENT WRLD {701 Haywood Rd Suite 101}
Drawing from poems and paintings published in the bilingual quarterly El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn, Mexican artist David Miranda creates a sound sequence that pays homage to the poets who shared their work in a creative exchange between Mexico and the United States.

Bizarre Sábado
During the course of the exhibition, BMCM+AC will host a series of experiential art events. These “Bizarre Sábado” happenings are inspired by Mexico City’s Bazaar Sábado, the innovative gathering place and crafts market first organized in 1960 by BMC alum Cynthia Sargent and her husband Wendell Riggs. The Bazaar Sábado continues to this day.

Bizarre Sábado 1
Theorem of Apocryphal Manifestos, performative action by David Miranda
Saturday, June 3, 2023 – 8pm
@ Different Wrld {701 Haywood Road, Suite 101, Asheville, NC}

Bizarre Sábado 2
Chat with Curator Eric Baden / Charla con curador Eric Baden / ¡Hola! Asheville Festival
Saturday, June 10, 2023 – 2–5pm
@ Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street, Asheville, NC}

Bizarre Sábado 3: Saturday, June 17, 2023 – 1–5pm
Bizarre Sábado 4: Saturday, July 1, 2023 – 1–5pm
Bizarre Sábado 5: Saturday, July 15, 2023 – 1–5pm
Bizarre Sábado 6: Saturday, July 29, 2023 – 1–5pm
A series of performative and experiential actions featuring local artists @ Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Library {120 College Street, Asheville, NC}

Bizarre Sábado 7
Black Night/Noche Negra: Photographs of Mexico—Slideshow with BMC/MX Project Director Eric Baden
Thursday, August 17, 2023 – 8pm
@ Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street, Asheville, NC}

Bizarre Sábado 8
Zine Release Celebration and Presentation of selected works from the Abraham Cruzvillegas Call for Art
Saturday, September 2, 2023 – 1–8pm
@ Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center {120 College Street, Asheville, NC}
and Lamplight AVL {821 Haywood Rd. Asheville, NC}
As part of the BMC/MX project, students and artists have been invited to engage creatively with visual prompts offered by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. Images of the resulting artworks will be compiled into a zine (available at BMCM+AC in September 2023), and selected works will be on display at Lamplight AVL on September 2.