Lapidarium is a touring sculpture exhibition by Mexican artist Gustavo Aceves. Monumental horses sculpted in marble, bronze, iron and resin over a  six-years process offer a unique perspective on one of the most salient and controversial issues in human history: migration. 

Aceves has created his own visual language, layered with cultural references and symbolism, notably the boat of Charon from Hades’ Underworld and the Trojan horse from Greek mythology, to convey the movement of people that began with the first human groups from their origins in East Africa to their current locations around world.

Each horse has distinct cracks on its surface and their fractured form, at times appearing skeletal, emphasises the tragedy migration is historically associated with. The horses represent fragments from our shared past but also the ever evolving nature of humanity characterised by hope and life, signified by a horse’s heart visible within the works.  The works were created in Italy’s renowned marble and bronze foundries in Pietrasanta including Carlo Barsi as well as studios in Florence and Bologna.

About the artist

Gustavo Aceves (b. 1957, Mexico City) currently lives and works in Pietrasanta, Italy. Aceves is self-taught artist who quickly built up a reputation as an influential painter working in Latin America. His paintings and works on paper focussing on the human figure draw upon Western pictorial traditions whilst using the large-scales common in Mexican murals. Lapidarium is the artist’s first sculpture project. Aceves’ work has been exhibited around the world since the late 1970s including in the Museo del Palacio Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the Venice Biennale and the Beijing Biennale. His work can be found in the permanent collections of Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, Mexico City and the Vatican Museum, Rome.