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Miguel Arzabe

Johansson Projects presents Miguel Arzabe’s recent works in our online viewing room. These works were produced in 2021 -2024. The pieces from 2021 were shown in the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery titled “Condór de Cuatro Cabezas / Four Headed Condor.”

During “Condór de Cuatro Cabezas / Four Headed Condor,” we hosted a conversation between Miguel and Jill d’Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where we learned how Miguel’s signature weaving style evolved from traditional Bolivian textile influences, as well as familial and cultural history, and form the two- and three-dimensional components of his ongoing explorations and considerations.

Arzabe’s work will be featured at EXPO Chicago, ICA SF in “The Poetics of Dimensions” curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, and the deYoung Museum in 2024.

La Cara Rayada II (2023), Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 48 x 60 inches
Palitos Errantes (2024), Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 56 x 78 inches (Sold)
Tiburón Ballena, Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 50 x 46 inches

Miguel Arzabe

For this series of work, I started out with two paintings. There is something very appealing to me about weaving a painting that is already fully realized – the composition, the palette – has already been well-considered. These works already have their own presence. I’m aiming to maintain some original integrity of the original work, and bring something new to it by weaving them together.


Miguel weaving “Quemado” in his studio

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Animales Familiares, Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 78 x 108 inches
La Ofrenda (2022), Woven acrylic on canvas, 78 x 56 inches - Acquired by the Harn Museum of Art
La Cara Enigmática I, Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 60 x 48 inches
La Cara Rayada I, Woven acrylic on canvas, 48 X 60 inches

“The goal of art is to have a conversation. I want to share my works and have people derive joy from them and think about their place in the universe.”

La Jaguar Alada, Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 80 x 54 inches

Llamas en Yosemite work in progress in the studio. Photos by Rachelle Reichert.

La Cara Rayada IV , Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 48 x 60 inches (Sold)
Te Quiero Inti (2021), Woven acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches It is in the permanent collection of the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
Studio image of a woven acrylic on canvas and linen work in progress

Landscape is such a huge part of not only my artwork but also my life.

This piece above is Llallagua. When I finished it, I was just reading a book about mythical creatures, and when the Spanish chroniclers arrived they made a dictionary of Aymara terms (Incan pre-colonial language). The word for a mythical beast is “llallagua.” So I named this painting Llallagua because I saw animals in the mountains in this painting. There is also a town called Llallagua near the mine my father worked as an engineer. We used to go through that town. So the painting also has a connection to my father.

Para Humber (2022), Woven acrylic on canvas, 60 x 78 inches

“Para Humber” was part of  “Tikkun: For the Cosmos, the Community, and Ourselves
at the Jewish Contemporary Museum in San Francisco through January 2023


Miguel Arzabe Artist Video by Alameda Education Foundation in conversation with Jill d’Alessandro, Director and Curator of the Avenir Institute of Textile Art and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum.

About the Artist