The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 1, 2024

El manto negro / The black shroud

El manto negro / The black shroud

(Mexican, b. 1963)
Each approximately: 10.5 x 11 x 3.5 cm (4 1/8 x 4 5/16 x 1 3/8 in.)
© Teresa Margolles

Did You Know?

Each clay piece in El Manto Negro was hand-burnished with a stone to an almost glass-like finish and then darkened with a traditional firing technique using smoke from burning cow manure.


To create El Manto Negro, Margolles collaborated with artisans in Mata Ortiz, Mexico, a region known for its ceramic work. The artisans produced thousands of square-shaped ceramic tiles, sourced from deposits at the base of Mata Ortiz’s mountainous zone. Each tile represents a victim of the drug wars that are now rampant in the region; as a grid, they speak to a collective history. El Manto Negro presents Mata Ortiz not only as a site that has fallen prey to violence, but also as a site of artistic productivity that prevails alongside hardship.
  • El Manto Negro is an example of a variable artwork; the artist provided 1600 individual tiles, but the museum is permitted to determine the overall size and relative dimensions of the grid as installed. The artist also provided 100 additional tiles to replace any that are damaged over time.
  • 2020
    (James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Yablonsky, Linda, “The art world is reborn in Tribeca,” The Art Newspaper, January 20, 2020.
    Fateman, Johanna, “Teresa Margolles,” 4Columns, January 24, 2020.
    García, Beatriz, “Las muertes violentas de Teresa Margolles, una artista mexicana en la escena del crimen,” Al Día, February 7, 2020.
    "New Take on the New: A comprehensive reinstallation of the galleries of contemporary art offers fresh viewpoints on the art of our time.” Cleveland Art: Cleveland Museum of Art Members Magazine 61, no. 2 (Spring 2021): Cover, 4-9. Reproduced: P. 6-7; Mentioned: P. 4, 6.
  • Contemporary Gallery Reinstallation 2021. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer).
  • {{cite web|title=El manto negro / The black shroud|url=false|author=Teresa Margolles|year=2020|access-date=01 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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