Teresa Margolles was born in 1963 in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. She currently lives and works between Mexico City, Madrid and Berlin.
Margolles holds a degree in Forensic Medicine and in Communication Science from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Teresa Margolles’ works examine the social causes and consequences of violence. For her, the morgue accurately reflects society, particularly her home area of Culiacán, where deaths caused by drug-related crimes, poverty, political crisis and government’s brutal and inept response have devastated communities. Margolles has developed a unique, restrained language in order to speak for her silenced subjects: the victims discounted as ‘collateral damage’. In 2012 she was awarded with the Artes Mundi award, while in 2013 she received the prestigious Prince Claus Award “for creating powerful artworks that demand attention to violence, poverty and the alienation of society.”
Her work has been shown internationally in institutions such as the the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2007) in New York, US; the Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria (2007); the Centre d’Art Contemporain of Brétigny, France (2006), Project Arcaute Art Contemporaneo (2008), Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros (2010), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2010), Kunsthalle Fridericianum (2010), Tate Modern in London, England (2012); the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC 2012); the MALBA Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008); the Museo del Barrio (2008) and Museum of Modern art of Mexico (2011) Neuberger Museum of Art (2016), Musée d;Art Contemporain de Montrèal (2017), The Museum für Moderne Kunst of Frankfurt, Germany (2004); P.S.1/MoMa in New York, US (2002); the Kunst-Werke in Berlin, Germany (2002) and the South London Gallery, England (2002), among many others. More recently, her work has been the subject of important retrospectives in the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2017), the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea Milano (2018), and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (2018).
She has participated in numerous Biennials, among which: Los Angeles (2016) European Biennial for Contemporary Art, Zurich (2016) Basel (2013), Berlin (2012), Moscow (2007), Liverpool (2006), Prague (2005), Mercosul (2003) and Cuenca (2002). Her project What Else Could We Talk About? curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina was presented in the Mexican Pavilion in the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.
The work of Teresa Margolles is part of many art collections around the world like Colección Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Mostoles, Spain; Colección Isabel y Agustín Coppel, Culiacan, Mexico; FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France; FRAC Nord Pas-de-Calais, Dunkerque, France; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, US; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland;La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst – Sammlung, Zurich, Switzerland; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, US; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona US; Tate Modern, London, UK; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, US; Perez Art Museum, Miami, US; MACBA, Barcelona, Spain; CNAP, Paris, France; Museo del Banco de la República Bogotá, Colombia; FRAC Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, US; Adrastus Collection, Arévalo, Spain and Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France.