Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle
El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, Mexico


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Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle was born in 1961, in Madrid, Spain, and currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He received B.A. degrees in Art and Art History as well as Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1983. In 1989, he completed his M.F.A. degree in sculpture from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Manglano-Ovalle investigates diverse subjects such as technology; climate; immigration; and the global impact of social, political, environmental, and scientific systems. Often working in partnership or employing technical experts across multiple disciplines (including engineering, architecture, genomics, and climatology), Manglano-Ovalle produces objects that are often technically complex, formally captivating, and conceptually engaging. His early work focused on collaborative explorations with young people in his hometown of Chicago, which led to the founding in 1993 of Street-Level Youth Media, a community arts organization for youth. Across multiple independent projects executed during the same period, Manglano-Ovalle explored a multifaceted and socially focused approach to art making, blending layered concepts with a variety of materials both typical and unorthodox. Incorporating objects such as identification cards in Assigned Identities (1991) or automobile tires in Flotilla (1991), Manglano-Ovalle made reference to the difficulties surrounding illegal immigration into the United States. In the sculptural works Bloom (1995–96) and Subwoofer (1995), Manglano-Ovalle utilized ballistic gelatin, firearms, and car sound systems to explore notions of violence and division. His noted film trilogy Le Baiser/The Kiss (1999), Climate (2000), and In Ordinary Time (2001) focused on the architecture of Mies van der Rohe and the implications of Modernism. More recently, he has employed genomic and meteorological methodologies to explore issues of race, identity, and the promise and threat of technology in works such as Cloud Prototype No. 1 (2003) and Portrait of a Young Reader (2006).

Manglano-Ovalle has exhibited his work at acclaimed institutions both nationally and internationally. Selected one-person exhibitions include Focus: Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, The Art Institute of Chicago (2005); The Krefeld Suite, Museum Haus Esters and Haus Lange, Krefend, Germany (2005); Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey and Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2004); Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Sala de Exposiciones de la Fundación “la Caixa,” Madrid, Spain (2003); White Flags, Barcelona Pavilion, Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona, Spain (2002); and Balsero, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997), among many others. Group exhibitions include Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany (2008), the Liverpool Biennial (2004 and 2006); Moving Pictures, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain (2002 and 2003); Tempo, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2002); Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (1998); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000).

He has received the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Individual Artist Award (2008), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship (2001), the Media Arts Award from the Wexner Center for the Arts (1997), and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship (1995).

He is represented by Max Protetch Gallery, New York, and Galeria de Arte Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid.


Human/Nature is different from other international arts programs, specifically the plethora of Art Biennials that crop up all over the world.…It proposes instead individual investigation at widely disparate locations without imposing a curatorial theme except engaging the natural beauty of the sites and the legacy they contain for us all.”

—Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, on why he chose to participate in Human/Nature


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Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle Interview

Produced by Lidia Rossner and Alexander Rossner, http://dmovies.net/.