A first-generation American artist born in Chicago to Colombian and Mexican parents, Harold Mendez works with installation, photography, sculpture and text to reference reconstructions of place and identity. His work addresses the relationships between transnational citizenship, memory and possibility, considering how history is not only an affirmed past, but a potential future. His recent work examines how reclaimed objects, makeshift monuments and images reveal a life parallel to conflict, demonstrating both factual evidence and where traces of fiction emerge.
Selected exhibitions include the 2017 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Renaissance Society; Museum of Modern Art / PS1, New York; Studio Museum, Harlem; Drawing Center, New York; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Project Row Houses, Houston; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Studio Museum, Harlem; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Mendez has held residencies at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. He is a recipient of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship; 3Arts Award; Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship; and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Mendez studied at Columbia College Chicago; University of Science and Technology, School of Art, Ghana, West Africa; and the University of Illinois at Chicago.