Home Magazine Exhibition Focus - Alma Berrow in Mexico City

Alma Berrow’s exhibition at El cuarto de máquinas, the Mexico City project space of Galería Hilario Galguera.

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From Friday the 28th of October, until the 16th of December 2022, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return”, an exhibition featuring Alma Berrow’s artworks, is open to the public at El Cuarto de Máquinas, the Mexico City project space of Galería Hilario Galguera.

Born in 1992, Alma Berrow is an artist working most recently with ceramics. Her work has been shown at Timothy Taylor, as well as having been presented at Sotheby’s (Women) Artists auction alongside works by Lavinia Fontana, Dorothea Tanning, Cindy Sherman and Helen Frankenthaler. Currently living and working in London, she recreates familiar objects of the everyday.


Detail of Alma Berrow “XXXLiving”, 2022. Courtesy Galería Hilario Galguera.

In “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” the scene that welcomes us is familiar yet surreal. There are nine hand sculptures and the artists well-known ashtrays on display.

The intriguing works are showcased with a theatrical twist in game of animalesque shadows. “By intermittently shining light through ceramic hands, she has created shadow puppets which are projected onto the wall of the gallery in animal forms. Berrow evokes childish innocence, reconnecting the revelry of adulthood with childhood theatre.” explains Luke Buckley Harris.

Alma Berrow “Oh Dear”, 2022.  Courtesy Galería Hilario Galguera

A hand arises from the central ashtray titled Dust you are, to dust you shall return - referencing God’s words to Adam and Eve making the hint to sin and indulgence explicit. “The tale of an evening is never a static thing. Each expressive gesture, exhalation of smoke, or sip of wine tells an individual story of intoxication and delight. And, when the night is over and morning arrives, crumpled cigarette butts, empty baggies and dented bottle-caps are transformed from nightlife accessories into objects.” It is as if the artworks are clues, evidence left behind from the evening of indulgence and immorality, and as viewers we ask ourselves whether we are guilty reflecting on the familiarity of the scene. “Alma Berrow’s work, characterised by trompe l’oeil ceramic ash- trays brimming with detritus and contorted hands, provocatively set the scene for a moment of self- reflection. The viewer is both attracted by the seductive sheen of finely glazed illusionist ceramics, described by Berrow as finding ‘joy in the disgusting’, as well as repulsed by the depiction of squalid party residue.”

Alma Berrow, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return”, 2022. Courtesy Galería Hilario Galguera 

The exhibition is open until the 16th of December 2022.

Cover Image: Installation view of “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” by Alma Berrow, 2022. Courtesy Galería Hilario Galguera.

Written by: Zoë Rivas Zanello

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