Felipe Ehrenberg, 1943–2017

Felipe Ehrenberg. Image: Freijo gallery

The Mexican artist Felipe Ehrenberg has died at the age of 73, following a heart attack, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Ehrenhberg was a key figure in the development of radical and experimental art in Mexico from the 1970s onwards. In a career spanning 50 years, Ehrenberg worked across painting, sculpture, photography and performance. He began exhibiting in Mexico during the 1960s, but with a increasingly repressive political situation, Ehrenberg left Mexico for England in 1968. While in England, he co-founded the Beau Geste Press, publishing the work of artists and poets associated with neo-Dada, Fluxus and mail art.

Ehrenberg returned to Mexico in 1974, forming the artist's group Grupo Process Pentagonal, which later became the Grupos movement. Ehrenberg fused art and socio-political activism, working with other fellow artists on collective performances and independent publishing. Social engagement was a key aspect of Ehrenberg’s work; he ran as a candidate in elections in 1982, while he later became involved in organising local campaigns against property speculators after the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.

Over the next decades Ehrenberg worked between Mexico and the US, his work often dealing with cultural and political histories of the Americas. He moved back to Mexico permanently in 2014.

17 May 2017

Read our interview with Felipe Ehrenberg from the September 2014 issue of ArtReview