Lineaus Lorette Estate at the El Paso Museum of Art

An installation view of Beaten with a Hammer, an exhibition by Marfa artist Bettina Landgrebe opening this weekend at the El Paso Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Bettina Landgrebe.

EL PASO — Three distinct exhibits from the Lineaus Lorette Estate featuring artists Zoe Loenard, Bettina Landgrebe and Jose Guadalupe Posada will open this Friday, December 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the El Paso Museum of Art. 

According to the estate’s executor, Villis Inde, the Lineaus Lorette Estate was directed to give assets and funds to arts organizations of El Paso, and these exhibitions will supplement the museum’s focus on the border with the concurrent opening of 2024 Border Biennial/Bienal Frotezeria 2024.

Bettina Landgrebe’s Beaten with a Hammer, a large multimedia installation piece will be on view until June 2, 2024. It offers a powerful elegy for the nearly 1,000 women who have been brutally tortured and murdered in the borderlands around Juárez, Mexico, since 1993. 

A 2011 iteration of the exhibition — informed by The Killing Fields: Harvest of Woman, a book by Diana Washington Valdez about her research into the mass killings of women in Juárez — took place at Big Bend Coffee roasters. Hearts made out of a plaster-like material are inscribed with women’s names, ages, dates and causes of death. That same information is also presented in audio format. 

Revisiting the installation has been challenging emotionally, said Landgrebe, who was installing the piece, which features hearts suspended from the ceiling, at the museum this week. 

“It’s really difficult to work with something like that and to transform it into an artwork,” said Landgrebe. “It’s not just how to make it look the most beautiful it can be, but you still get caught up in the politics of it.”

Landgrebe placed a somewhat unfinished circle of 100 blank hearts bearing no names on the gallery floor, representing women that could not or have not been named, she said. 

Zoe Leonard’s body of photographs of the Rio Grande for her project Ai rio/To the River will also be on view. The estate has donated From Casa de Adobe, Ciudad Juárez, a six-panel piece, to the museum and it will be exhibited for the first time on Friday. The piece has been exhibited in Paris, Luxembourg and Australia.

The museum will also display work created by Jose Guadalupe Posada that the estate donated to the museum. Lorette was first involved with EPMA in 2019 for the exhibit After Posada: Revolution.

In a press release, Inde said that the estate is pleased to be represented at EPMA by these three artworks/exhibits and that the gift to EPMA was provided in accord with Lorette’s interest in social/political issues and his interest in the relationship between people on both sides of the Rio Grande.

*Editor’s note: this article has been updated to better reflect Landgrebe’s perspective on The Killing Fields: Harvest of Woman