Frieda Toranzo Jaeger. Hope The Air Conditioning Is On While Facing Global Warming (part 1). 2017. Oil on canvas. 87 7/8 x 176 inches (223 x 447 cm).

This fall, MoMA PS1 will present painter Frieda Toranzo Jaeger’s (Mexican, b. 1988) first major solo museum exhibition in the United States. On view from September 22, 2022 through March 13, 2023, Autonomous Drive brings together over a dozen recent works including three new commissions. Toranzo Jaeger’s large-scale, dynamic, and modular works incorporate a range of materials and techniques, including ceramic and embroidery.

Toranzo Jaeger’s research into the history of painting, with a particular focus on 15th-century European altar paintings, informs her multi-paneled works. She draws on the sculptural forms and religious symbolism of this period, which was synchronous with Western colonial expansion, reclaiming and expanding these references to create imagined constructions for a world after decolonization proposing a futurity of queer freedom, connection to nature, and the creation of new spaces of joy and pleasure. To produce these scenes, Toranzo Jaeger examines traditional origin myths, such as that of Adam and Eve, and recasts them to envision new beginnings. In the newly commissioned End of Capitalism, the Fountain (2022), Toranzo Jaeger reimagines the bacchanal scene in Lucas Cranach’s Fountain of Youth (1546) as a post-capitalist lesbian utopia, with crashed airplane parts strewn in the background.

Toranzo Jaeger’s paintings verge on the sculptural, with multiple tableaux that combine into elaborate narrative scenes. Often featuring hinged elements, so that they may be displayed open or closed, her multifaceted perspectives break from linear narratives. Additionally, Toranzo Jaeger’s family often works with her to embroider her paintings adding layers to the surface of the canvas and puncturing the conventions of painting by incorporating traditional techniques.

Movement and technology are essential themes that emerge in the content and construction of Toranzo Jaeger’s works. From 15th-century altar paintings to the interiors of hybrid cars, her subjects speak to the many vehicles for continued colonization and control of vast territories, including outer space. In Toranzo Jaeger’s depictions, however, she imbues these vehicles with the potentiality of love as an antidote to colonial thinking. In this sense, Toranzo Jaeger’s work transforms spaces of technological domination by leveraging hybridity and automation to signal ontological shifts and queer becomings that resist existing power structures.

Frieda Toranzo Jaeger lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. Recent solo exhibitions include The Perpetual Sense of Redness, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore (2021); Fantasies of Autonomy, Arcadia Missa, London (2019); Deep Adaptation, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2019); The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue, Kunstwerke, Berlin (2019); Autofelatio, High Art, Paris (2018); and Die Windschutzscheibe, Reena Spaulings, New York (2017). She has participated in several group exhibitions internationally, including De Por Vida, Company Gallery, New York (2021); NGV Triennial, Melbourne (2020); Paint, also known as blood, MoMA, Warsaw (2019); City Prince/sses, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); and BLISS, LAR en Escuela de la Paz, Mexico City (2018). Toranzo Jaeger’s work is included in the collections of Kadist and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and she was awarded the Finkenwerder Art Prize 2022 in Hamburg alongside Renée Green.

Frieda Toranzo Jaeger: Autonomous Drive is organized by Ruba Katrib, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, MoMA PS1.

Generous support for Frieda Toranzo Jaeger: Autonomous Drive is provided by The Deborah Buck Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Jeff Magid.

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