For over four decades, Raul Guerrero (b. 1945, Brawley, California) has made work informed by his experiences navigating cultures as an American of Mexican ancestry in Southern California. In his paintings, photographs, video, and performance works, Guerrero utilizes language and cultural signifiers to examine notions of place as a way to understand personal concepts of self. An aspect of his work depicts—and critiques—colonial narratives in the Americas such as the settlement of the Great Plains, the history of Latin America, and imposed notions of the American “West.” With compositions fusing Mexican, American, and European visual traditions, he incorporates influences ranging from the readymades of Marcel Duchamp to conceptually-oriented practices associated with a preceding generation of California artists (including John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha) who emerged from Guerrero’s alma mater, the Chouinard Art Institute. A long-time exhibiting artist on the West Coast, Guerrero reflects an intellectually rigorous approach suffused with humor and a deep engagement with legacies of visual art from Southern California and the Southwest.
Raul Guerrero was the subject of a solo exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, in July 2021. Solo exhibitions include Ortuzar Projects, New York (2018); Air de Paris (project space), Romainville, France (2014); Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, San Diego, California (2001, 2007, and 2013); CUE Art Foundation, New York (2010); Long Beach Museum of Art, California (1977); and San Francisco Art Institute, California (1977). In 1989, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presented a retrospective exhibition of his work. Guerrero has been the recipient of an NEA Photography Fellowship (1979) and the San Diego Art Prize (2006). He lives and works in San Diego.