Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Rios

The Dallas Museum of Art will present Argentinean artist Miguel Angel Rios for the next exhibition in its international emerging artist series, Concentrations. In this exhibition, the artist uses the elegantly moving shapes of a Mexican street game to astonishing effect in a single five-minute video presentation. The exhibition opens Sunday, Jan. 29 in the Contemporary Art Galleries.

Concentrations 49: Miguel Angel Rios consists of a video triptych—A Morir (‘til Death)—shot from three different angles, of a popular Mexican pastime played with spinning tops on a grid called a trompos. The five-minute video begins with one spinning top but quickly builds into a cacophonous profusion of tops in a single game involving 30 of the most skilled players in town (ages 14 to 50).

The installation presents the spinning tops straight-on at ground level, making them both ominous and startlingly human. As these elegant shapes whip across the screen, comically careening into one another and violently edging each other out of the picture, the dynamics of competition, invasion, aggression, and territorialism are played out both visually and aurally.

The simplicity of form and color, and the grace of the black tops spinning out of control, one after the other, highlight the arresting beauty of a local game that is universally recognizable.

Rios was born in Catamarca, Argentina, in 1943. Part of an older generation of artists, Rios has always been primarily concerned with the fundamental question of material and presentation, but he addresses these issues through local conventions and customs. While in Mexico in the 1980s he worked extensively with clay, invoking pre-Columbian culture; later he began using maps and Khipu, an ancient Andean method of keeping records using knotted string.

“Miguel has a truly diverse body of work in which he uses a combination of formalism and indigenous traditions, and it’s what makes his work so rich,” said curator Suzanne Weaver.

The Rios exhibition will continue the goal of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Concentrations series of presenting critical and challenging work by emerging international artists. The Concentrations series began in 1981 as part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s commitment to the work of living artists. The series seeks to make the work of contemporary artists accessible to Dallas Museum of Art audiences while preserving the excitement of the work.

The exhibition is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and curated by Weaver, who is the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Concentrations exhibition support is provided by the Donor Circle Membership Program through leadership gifts of Claire Dewar, Nancy and Tim Hanley, and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 23,000 works, spanning 5,000 years of history and representing all media, with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District and, in all its vitality, serves as a cultural magnet for the city with diverse programming ranging from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, and dramatic and dance presentations, with a full spectrum of programs designed to engage people of all ages with the power and excitement of art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.