Portrait of Eduardo TerrazasLorena WolfferEduardo Terrazas (Guadalajara, Jalisco, 1936) is a Mexican creator who hastaken an interest in contemplating and reflecting on the world as he passesthrough. For over forty years, he has worked on an array of disciplines inorder to understand and reflect on a changing reality, always proposingalternate methods for inhabiting and being, or additional modes forrelating to one another, or new ways of gazing.An architect by training, his Bachelor’s degree is from the National Schoolof Architecture of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (1953-1958), and his Master’s, from Cornell University in New York (1959-1960).But his endeavors also include painting, drawing, design, curating andurban and regional planning. Terrazas sees his transit through thesedisciplines as different pathways that nevertheless run parallel, like themedia he recurs to in order to approach concerns that range fromphilosophy to the social sciences. A diverse, multi-faceted artist, he defendsa critical and analytical stance based on connections between variousrealms of knowledge.His broad artistic production includes works as heterogeneous asPossibilities of a Structure (1970-1980), a pictorial investigation of thecharacteristics that allow a structure to be infinitely developed andtransformed; or the exhibition Panels, held in the Palace of Fine Arts of
Mexico City in 1972, which explores the technique used by the Huichol incollaboration with the artisan Santos Motoaapohua de la Torre de Santiago.The exhibition Not knowing you existed and unable to explain you,completed together with the artist Arnaldo Coen in 1975, showed shopwindows from downtown Mexico City at the Benjamin Franklin Gallery.Terrazas then completed an exhibition of artisan installations for the MobilOil offices called Multiplications: Everyday Museum (1987), in which hemanifested his interest in crossing the borders between art and Mexicanfolk culture through the re-contextualization of everyday objects. He alsocreated the communications, design, and identity program for the 19thOlympic Games together with Beatriz Trueblood (1966-1999). While it istrue that a great deal of his art has not been shown in established artcircles, needless to say he is a tireless artist with an extensive catalog ofworks.His concern for understanding the contemporary world has led him tocollaborate with thinkers and designers like Iván Illich and George Nelsonand to found in 1980 the Tepoztlan Center, a space for reflection onpressing issues of the day, together with economist Víctor L. Urquidi –whowas, at the time, President of the Colegio de México.Terrazas authored the architectural design of the Cintermex exhibition andconvention centers in Monterrey, ExpoTampico in Tampico, and fourcultural centers located in Tamaulipas: Ciudad Victoria, Tampico, NuevoLaredo, and Reynosa. He also designed the Embassy of France in Mexico,the American Express building and the Technological Museum of theFederal Commission of Electricity. Moreover, he was charged with the first
stage of remodeling Terminal 1 of the International Airport of Mexico City,and has projected different residences both in the capital and in the stateof Morelos.Terrazas has taught at the University of Columbia (1963-1965) and theUniversity of California at Berkeley (1972). He was a General Commissionerof the Mexico Pavilion at the New York World Fair (1964-1965) and Directorof the Mexican team that collaborated with the government of Tanzania inthe master plan for their new capital, Dodoma (1976-1977). In Mexico, hewas Technical Director of both the National Institute for the Developmentof Public Housing and Community (1970) and the Institute of Urban Actionand Social Integration (1971). Likewise, he was charged with the design ofurban furnishing, signage and public space for the boulevards known asAxes in Mexico City (1978-1979). He carried out a regional plan for centralMexico with the capital and its metropolitan area as strategic center,including the states of Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Querétaro, andthe rest of the state of Mexico. He has given conferences internationally invarious countries, including India, Pakistan, the United States, Columbia,and Chile.