Photograph by Juan San Juan
Fotografía por Juan San Juan
Barry Wolfryd was born in Los Angeles, California but he has conducted the major part of his artistic carrier in Mexico, where he has lived for the last 40 years. The influences of sixties music from Dylan to Frank Zappa and the New York art scene inspired Wolfryd to carry out his first creative trials. These experiences developed an ideological base that he would bind with the culture by means of historic consciousness and social critique. Wolfryd began his artistic studies in 1972 at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A. At 22 years of age he moved to Mexico, arriving in Cholula, Puebla and commencing his studies at the Universidad of the Americas. In 1975 he enrolled at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. In 1982 he studied at the Chicago Art Institute and in 1984 at the National Institute for the Arts in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
In 1985 he moved to Mexico City where he broadened his artistic activities. He was present during the earthquake of September 19 of that year. From this tragedy artist and art in Mexico took a historical turn of events. Wolfryd became an active player in the new vision and dynamic that overtook the “Nopal Curtain”, established by the previous generation of artist such as Cuevas and Tomayo.
By 1986 he had his first major individual exhibition and began to participate in national and international exhibitions in Mexico City, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio, Los Angeles, New York City, and Rome.
In 1987, he started collaborating with Salon dés Aztecas, an artistic group who established a break with the dominant trends of the visual arts in Mexico by taking public spaces and buildings to transform them in collective intervention projects. “The Taking of Balmori”, “El Ruele” and “El Vizcaina” were just a few of these projects.
He founded in 1998 the experimental space Out Gallery, along with Salon dés Aztecs, La Zona and La Quiñonera, these spaces helped create one of the most dynamic artistic phenomena of Mexico City.
During a season in Los Angeles, California (2005-2008), he opened a workshop at The Brewery, a conglomerate of more than 150 studies of artistic creators. There, by incorporating elements, icons and symbols of his hometown, his work took a new direction, with a political approach and anti consumerist issues.
Between 2008 and 2011, back in Mexico, he realized a new painting series, Stories in Shadows, Honey I’m Home and Transferences that documented interpersonal relationships, absurdities in life and the violence gripping the country, resulting from the activities of organized crime.
In 2013 he finished a series of four large portable murals on canvas, wood panels and one in ceramic tile for a corporate group.
Wolfryd begun in 2104 to produce glass sculptures both in Murano, Italy at Berengo Studios (Founder of Glass Stress) and at the Royal Glass Works in Segovia, Spain. In June 2019 he produced a series a paintings at Art House Holland residency. A new series of glass scultures have been created at Berengo Studios in September , 2109.
Since 1985 he has had 35 individual exhibitions and participated in more than 100 exhibitions in galleries and museums in the United States, South America, Japan, Mexico and Europe. Some of the exhibitions over the last ten years have been hosted by institutions such as Museo de Arte Contemporáneo en Vidrio de Alcorcón, (MAVA), Madrid, Spain (2018); Universidad de Leipzig, Alemania, (2018); The Mulberg Castle Gallery, Schloss Mülberg, Alemania (2018); Venice Glass Week, Venice, Italy (2018); Technology Museum, Real Fábrica de Cristales, Segovia, Spain (2017); José Luis Cuevas Museum, CdMx, Mexico (2017); Cultural Institute of Mexico, Guatemala, Guatemala (2017); Museum of El Carmen, CdMx, Mexico (2017); Museum of Modern Art, Trieste, Italy (2016); City Museum, Quito, Ecuador (2016); Cultural Forum of the Embassy of Mexico, Berlin, Germany (2016); Center Culturel du Mexique, Paris, France (2015); MEXCAT, Barcelona, Spain (2015); Instituto Cervantes, Tokyo, Japan (2015); Palazzo Costanzi, Sala Veruda, Trieste, Italy (2015); MIAA Museum, Frederiksaerk, Denmark (2014); Franz Mayer Museum, CdMx, Mexico (2014); Museo Arte Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico (2014); VI Miradas Bienal, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico (2014); X Bienal of Monterrey, Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, CdMx, Mexico (2013); X Bienal of Monterrey, MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico (2012); Franz Mayer, CdMx, Mexico (2011); The Arocena Museum, Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico (2010); The Thoreau Center, San Fransisco, Ca. (2008).
The work has been reviewed by prominent curators and critics such as Jorge Juanes, Merry McMasters, Mónica Mayer, José Manuel Springer, Santiago Espinoza de los Monteros, Érik Castillo, John Mason Hart, Andrés de Luna, Luis Carlos Émerich, Luz Sepúlveda, Fernando Gálvez , Carlyn Aguilar, Luis Ramaggio and Sergio C. Fanjul.