Consuelo J. Underwood

1949
,
United States
About the Artist

Born in Sacramento, California in 1949, Consuelo is the daughter  of migrant agricultural workers, a Chicano mother and a father of Huichol Indian descent. Crossing borders and negotiating between three perspectives is fundamental to her identity and the basis of her creative process. Consuelo’s work ranges from delicate miniature tapestries to monumental fiber and mixed media installations juxtaposing the natural beauty and ecological destruction along the US/Mexico border.

Consuelo has exhibited and lectured nationally and internationally for more than twenty-five years. Her work is part of the permanent collections of museums such as the Smithsonian American Museum of Art, Museum of Art & Design in New York, the National Hispanic Center for the Arts, New Mexico, the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Oakland Museum of California.  She was awarded the 2017 Master Artist Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture and was elected to the Council of Fellows of the American Craft Council in 2018. She was a 2021 recipient of the James Renwick Alliance for Craft Masters of the Medium Award.

Consuelo received her BA and MA from San Diego State University, and began teaching fiber art at San Jose State University in 1987, where she received her MFA. Consuelo’s work will be examined in depth in the forthcoming anthology, “Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision,” Edited by Laura E. Pérez, PhD. and Ann Marie Leimer, PhD

Exhibitions

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2022 This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

2019 Exposing Unseen Boundaries: Works by Consuelo Jimenez Underwood – Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, Brown University, Providence, RI

2018 Consuelo J. Underwood: Thread Songs from the Borderlands, 108 Contemporary, Tulsa, OK

2017 Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood – Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, CA, in partnership with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a Getty initiative

2015 Borderlines: The Art of Consuelo Jimenez Underwood – ArtRage Gallery, Syracuse, NY, Mothers: The Act of Seeing, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV

2013 Welcome to Flowerlandia – Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA

2011 Undocumented Borderlands – Conley Art Gallery, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA

2006 Tortillas, Chiles, and Other Border Things – MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura, Latino Americana, San Jose, CA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2022 The Female Thread, Immersive Virtual Exhibition – Global

2022 Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women – Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

2021 Crafting America – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

2019 Woven: Connections and Meanings – National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago, IL,  

2019 Striking Gold: Fuller at Fifty – Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

2019 The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility, El Dorado Arts Festival, Lille, France

2018 New Threads – Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

2017 The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility – Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA, in partnership with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a Getty initiative

2017 Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home – Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA

2017 Looming Spaces, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA

2016 Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora, The Textile Museum, George Washington University, Washington, DC

2005 Tortilla Meets Tortilla Wall, InSite_05, Border State Park, Performance at United States/Mexico Border

2001 Defining Craft 1: Collecting for the New Millennium, Museum of Arts and Design (formerly American Craft Museum), New York, NY (Traveling Exhibition 2001-2005)

2000 The Renwick Invitational: Five Women in Craft – Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Press

2022 Pérez, Laura E. and Ann Marie Leimer, Editors, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: Art, Weaving, Vision. Duke University Press, 2022. Selected by Publisher’s Weekly as a top ten anticipated art books of Spring 2022.

2021 Durón, Maxilíano, “Latinx Art Got More Visibility Than Ever in 2021. What Will Change Going Forward?” ARTnews, December 30, 2021.

Carey Sweet, “Fiber artist breaks through boundaries: renowned artist channels ancestors, memories to explore crossing borders,” San Francisco Chronicle,  October 24, 2021.

Herrera-Sobek, María, “Prickly Politics in Borderlands Art: Aesthetic Activism and the Barbed Wire Motif in Consuelo Jimenez Underwood’s Artwork.” In InterAmerican Perspectives in the 21st Century: Festschrift in Honor of Josef Raab  (Inter-American Studies), Olaf Kaltmeier and Wilfried Raussert, Editors. University of New Orleans Press, 2021.

Robinson, Megan D, “Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women to Show  at SAAM,” Art & Object, February 10, 2021.

Adamson, Glenn, and Jen Padgett, Crafting America: Artists and Objects, 1940 to Today, exhibition catalog, cover image. University of Arkansas Press, 2021.

2019 Lindwall, Courtney, “Weaving Beauty into the Borderlands,” National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), onEarth, September 16, 2019.

2017 Zaiden, Emily, Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists,

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, exhibition catalog. Los Angeles, CA: Craft In America, 2017.

Javiar, Carla “Why this professional artist enlisted the help of public school students instead of gallery assistants,” KPCC, Los Angeles, CA. Coverage of student collaboration for Mano-Made: New Expression in Craft by Latino Artists,

Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Craft in America Center, Los Angeles, CA, December 4, 2017.

2016 “Video: ‘Undocumented Travelers’ Blossoms at GW Museum and Textile Museum: Wall-sized installation reflects personal experiences with the U.S.-Mexico border,” GW Today, April 12, 2016.

2016 Jenkins, Mark, “These stories of displaced families are told in fabric, needle and thread,” The Washington Post, August 4, 2016

Artworks