with what eyes?
Curated by Diego Villalobos
CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco
14 December 2023 – 24 February 2024

California College of the Arts (CCA) and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts proudly presents Rodrigo Hernández: with what eyes?, a new solo exhibition running from December 14, 2023 to February 24, 2024 by the acclaimed Mexican artist Rodrigo Hernández. This will be his first solo exhibition in the United States.

The exhibition begins with a simple question posed by the Mexican philosopher David M. Peña-Guzmán: Are humans the only dreamers on Earth?In following this query, Hernández presents a new body of work that weaves together artistic, philosophical, and scientific perspectives. The pieces reflect on the cognitive and emotional experiences of nonhuman animals, shedding light on our own relationship to the natural world.

His practice does not seek to clarify, but to muddy the lines of categorization: painting becomes sculpture, fact and fiction are intertwined, and sensible questions lead to nonsensical answers that lead to nonsensically sensible questions. With curiosity, his process draws inspiration from diverse sources like literary fiction, Mexican pre-Columbian imagery, European and Latin American Modernism, the natural sciences, and lived experiences.

Hernández is a lucid artist that dreams through materials. His studio practice involves a wide range of mediums and techniques, from papier-mâché sculpture, brass metal reliefs and large-scale murals, to intimate paintings and drawings. Hernández’s artworks come alive through complex installations, where he challenges traditional history and narratives have the potential to shift, overlap, and expand.

Rodrigo Hernández: with what eyes? is curated by Diego Villalobos. The exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous support from the Laurenz-Haus Foundation, Basel, and Collection Silvia Fiorucci, Monaco; additional thanks to Galeria Madragoa, Lisbon, and special thanks to the Wattis Leadership Circle.

Photos by Nicholas Bruno