Reference Entry

Escobedo, Helen

Rita Eder

in Oxford Art Online

Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI:

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(b Mexico City, July 28, 1934; d Mexico City, Sept 16, 2010).

Mexican sculptor and museum administrator. She studied in 1950–51 at Mexico City College (now Universidad de las Américas), where she was introduced to sculpture by the renowned abstract artist, Germán Cueto. Awarded a travelling scholarship to the Royal College of Art, London (1951–4), Escobedo met luminaries of European sculpture, including Henry Moore, Jacob Epstein and Ossip Zadkine, who profoundly influenced her sense of organic integrity in form and material. It became clear to her that sculpture as museum piece or domestic ornament did not fulfil her objectives. During the 1960s and early 1970s Escobedo created works on a monumental scale and became well known for such ambitious urban sculptures as Signals (painted aluminium, h. 15 m, 1971), sited at Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, and Doors to the Wind (painted reinforced concrete, h. 17 m, 1968) at Anillo Periférico and Calzada del Hueso on the Olympic Friendship Route, Mexico. From the 1980s she directed her work towards ecological and humanitarian issues. A number of site-specific installations and performances explored the theme of the densely populated metropolis of Mexico City. While conscious of the social meaning of art, her approach was abstract and conceptual rather than overtly realist. She used natural materials, such as interwoven branches and grass, or the detritus of urban life. As a cultural promoter, she held such positions as director (...

Reference Entry.  284 words. 

Subjects: Sculpture and Carving ; Latin American and Caribbean Art ; 20th-Century Art

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