By Tom Powers

On entering Marisol Guerrero’s stimulating show, the viewer is presented with a floor-to-ceiling hanging cloth covered with marks of reddish rust, (Entropy–280×120; 2020), accompanied by explanatory wall text, written by the curator, Isis Yépez, using rust pigment. 

The show’s text defines entropy as a system of the chaos and destruction that exists in nature. It asks us what possibilities are created by this?  The rust text helps the viewer approach the show with these ideas in mind. The cloth, perhaps a bed sheet, appears to have been folded at one time, as an almost mirror image appears on the top and bottom with a center dividing line. Its rust markings do not seem at all random, as our eye wanders from simply seeing and accepting the image to trying to make order of its markings.

Guerrero is an accomplished young artist born in San Miguel de Allende and winner of the Guanajuato Contemporary Art Hall, Contemporary Artist of 2021, award as well as professor of etching at Bellas Artes El Nigromante. Her interest in rust began 2016 while visiting her grandmother’s grave. At the same time, she was working on a project, “Cryptographies.” that used objects from that space. Finding some nails, Guerrero worked with them to create stains to show the passage of time. This successful piece, a series of small, at times dancing imprints of nails, started the body of work for this show.

The use of nails as a source for the rust pigment as well as being a recognizable shape has special meaning to Guerrero. “ I extracted those nails that register their body on paper. It was interesting to know that the nails hold that structure called a bed, thanks to them it can be; it is also a very simple and complex object, a nail can be kept there until someone extracts it and the shape each one takes when extracted, it speaks of a relationship between the person and the object of intentions, of action, of consequences. I believe that in the end it is always a relation and exchange of energy, whether between people, or object and person.”

At times this thoughtful show seems to take on the feeling of a scientist exploring and experimenting with systems using rust, stains, and shadows. It’s accessible, both sensual and intellectually seductive. The wide variety of rust pieces—sculpture, video, embroidery, cloth, paper, wood and metal—are cohesively connected by both by their use of rust and the concept the medium conveys, making this a stunningly successful show.