Renata Cassiano Alvarez






Not For Sale


  • Tormenta Sobre el Cerro

    Renata Cassiano Alvarez

  • Menudo

    Renata Cassiano Alvarez

  • Monticulito

    Renata Cassiano Alvarez

  • Los Arcos

    Renata Cassiano Alvarez

  • Icono VII

    Renata Cassiano Alvarez

  • Señales De Humo 2023

    Renata Cassiano Alvarez

About the Artist

Renata Cassiano Alvarez is a Mexican-Italian artist born in Mexico City and currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Arkansas School of Art. Cassiano Alvarez works predominantly in the medium of clay, in a search for developing an intimate collaborative relationship with material and material language. Influenced by archeology and history, she is interested in the power of the object as survival - objects with a sense of permanence and timelessness, and language as transformation. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in public and private collections in Mexico, Estonia, Italy, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, China, USA and Slovenia. She works between her studio in Veracruz, Mexico and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Artist Statement

My practice follows my obsession with materials such as clay and obsidian, physicality, and reflections. I create and look for artifacts that do not offer answers but reflect questions back to us, moving towards opacity and density as resistance from the western idea that everything should be grasped and known and it should exist within two opposing fields. My artifacts are the result of ideas and experiences around language, identity and self-reflection. As a transnational artist, the ability to move from one language to another is crucial and illuminates the centrality of change within the human experience. In my own life, I have been fascinated by the physical transformations occurring as I adopted English as my primary language for daily use. My curiosity has led me to explore this phenomenon through material. For example, glaze is a surface material, it speaks a very specific language as the skin of the object. When it is made to be the structure which holds everything together, the artifact itself, we discover a material with a new sentience and a new physicality. Glaze is now a verb and no longer a descriptor.

This way of working represents a great risk and many failures. My objects are the
witnesses and bearers of time, process and labor. They consume me and contain me, mirroring Borges’ words “El tiempo es la sustancia de que estoy hecho. El tiempo es un río que me arrebata, pero yo soy el río; es un tigre que me destroza, pero yo soy el tigre.” My process embraces time as a continuous circle. Time as a substance that both nurtures us and consumes us.

What I make and how I look at it is deeply informed by my family and my context as a Latin American. Both my parents are archeologists who dedicated their lives to
deciphering the remnants of our past. Through this lens, I see the object as survival- objects with a sense of permanence and timelessness. My life has been filled with
artifacts from my ancestors, belonging to religious and life rituals, and they are present in my making through form and spirit. The materials I use embody the natural vulnerability that exists within all of us, and the tension between ephemerality and endurance.