(American, b. 1983)
Nine blind embossed prints; ed. 7/10;
each 14 x 10 1/2 in.
With an art practice based firmly in historical research, Adriana Corral explores current issues regarding immigration, citizenship, human rights, and labor largely focused on the Texas-Mexico border. Born and raised in El Paso, Corral was early infused with a desire to investigate the histories of Texas and its relationship with its Latinx populations, especially as this point of contact related to human rights abuses, and themes of disappearance, memory, and erasure. Corral explains her work and her method when stating: “my work goes through a layered process, beginning with a conceptual framework that is dictated by the research I conduct. With a minimal aesthetic yet oftentimes loaded subject matter, I create installations, performances, and sculptures, that are solicitous composites of research, politics and universal themes of loss, injustice, concealment, and memory.”
To achieve this, Corral works with research materials
provided by anthropologists, journalists, gender scholars, writers, human rights attorneys, and victims. Working in richly organic materials such as soil, ash, paper, and cotton, Corral situates her theoretical work in a strong grounding of basic, earthy substances that help the viewer connect with the work on a visceral level.
Latitudes (2019) is a series of nine works on stark white paper, shrouded in white matting and white frames. In a ghostly fading, the artworks recede into the background, quietly excusing themselves of their presence, begging to not be seen. From a distance, the series of thick white sheets of paper appear to be blank pages. Corral prefers minimal techniques, forms, and materials in all her work, delivering soft tones and clean lines that slyly conceal intensely strong messages. Upon a closer view, we see the papers contain imprinted text in an official language and in an official form. The text is nearly invisible as it contains no ink. The text is created using a debossed form only visible because the impressed material yields to light and shadow. This un-text is language taken directly from the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights written
in 1948. Corral has reproduced the language of the Declaration of Human Rights into English, German, Spanish, and Japanese. The nine prints in the collection of Public Art UHS are in Spanish, reflecting Corral’s own ancestral language, her interest in the historical interconnectedness between Texas and Mexico, and the thirty percent of the Texas population that speaks the language.
Corral was born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas. She received her BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and completed her MFA at the University of Texas at Austin. She was awarded a Harpo Foundation Award (2020) and the Artadia Award (2019), and she was selected for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant (2016). Corral has participated in several artist residency programs including the McDowell Residency (2014), Künstlerhaus Bethanien Residency in Berlin, Germany (2016), the International Artist-in-Residence at Artpace, San Antonio (2016), and an Artist-in-Residence at the Joan Mitchell Center (2018). Fellowships include Black Cube, a Nomadic Art Museum (2017), the Archives of American Art and History at the Smithsonian Institution (2018) and the prestigious Mellon Foundation Latinx Artist Fellowship (2021). The artist has participated in several group and solo exhibits throughout the country. She lives and works in Houston.
University of Houston
John M O’Quinn Law Building