Where would New York City be without its bodegas? For her series “Mercado” (Market), the artist Lucia Hierro, a native New Yorker, found inspiration in this institution, and stuffed large transparent shopping bags with fabric sculptures of things one might purchase at the local bodega—such as a copy of The New Yorker and an unripe banana. For Hierro, the manipulation of fabric was personal. When her mother immigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic, she worked in a garment factory. “I always associated sewing with ‘the struggle’ and avoided it for a long time,” Hierro has said. “Once I made the connection between the work I was making and the material, I knew I had touched upon something worth exploring.” Her pieces speak to her own history while inviting viewers to question their consumerism. By transforming banal items into treasures, Hierro unsettles the seemingly familiar, calling into question what makes something valuable. This exhibition—Hierro’s first solo museum show—sees recent and new sculptures from “Mercado” as well as the debut of her latest series, “Gates,” which was specially commissioned by the Aldrich. —C.J.F.
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