Artist, publisher, essayist, teacher, and activist, Felipe Ehrenberg was born in Tlacopac, Mexico City, in 1943. Best known
at the international level for his exploration of unorthodox visual mediums such as mail and media art, performance and installation
works, he is also highly regarded as a book artist and an early proponent of grass-roots publishing enterprises.
First trained as a printer, Ehrenberg went on to receive instruction as a visual and graphic artist under various teachers
and mentors, notably muralist José Chávez Morado and Matthías Goeritz. As early as 1960, Ehrenberg's work first appeared in
a collective exhibit presented at the Galería de la Paz, Mexico D.F., and subsequently his work was included in other collective
efforts staged in Mexico City and Acapulco during 1963-1964. His first solo exhibitions, La Montana and Dibujos y Epoxis,
were mounted in 1965 at the Galeria del Centro de Arte y Artesania and Galería 1577 respectively, in Mexico City. From 1964
through 1967, he served as the editor for the arts section of the Mexico City Times, an English-language newspaper, where
he also wrote a film column under the alias "Montenegro." Throughout the latter part of the Sixties, Ehrenberg's work appeared
frequently in both solo and group exhibitions, gaining some international notice with showings in Texas and New Jersey, as
well as Argentina. In 1968, he represented Mexico in the Salon Codex de Pintura Latinoamericana held in Buenos Aires, and
was awarded the Femirama Prize for painting.
1968 also marked a year of political turmoil throughout the world, and Mexico proved no exception. One week before the Olympic
Games was scheduled to open in Mexico City, the army moved in to end a student strike that threatened to disrupt the event.
With reportedly as many as several hundred people killed and over one thousand imprisoned, Ehrenberg decided the situation
was untenable and emigrated to England. There, in conjunction with David Mayor and Martha Hellion, he helped found Beau Geste
Press / Libro Accion Libre, an artist-in-residence collective dedicated to presenting the works of a number of important visual
poets, conceptualists, neo-dadaists and experimental artists, many of whom were closely linked to the Fluxus movement. While
residing in England, Ehrenberg also co-founded the Poligonal Workshop, and was awarded the Perpetua Prize for the book design
and illustration of Opal Nation's "The Man Who Entered Pictures", presented to him by Southwestern Arts Association/British
Arts Council in 1974.
Ehrenberg returned to Mexico in 1974, taking up residence in Xico, a small city in the state of Veracruz. In a continuation
of his collaborationist methodology he joined with Víctor Munoz, Carlos Finck and Jose Antonio Hernandez Amezcua, to found
Grupo Proceso Pentagono, a seminal event that blossomed into the now-famed Group Movement. In addition to pursuing a career
as a professional artist, Ehrenberg also took up teaching upon his return, specializing in installation art, cultural activism
and artists' administration at Universidad Veracruzana. Intrigued by the duality of Latin-America culture, he applied for
and received a 1975 Guggenheim fellowship to study "schizophrenic attitudes and schismatic manifestations in the visual arts
as a result of bi-lingualism." (Cite source) In 1979 he founded H2O (Haltos 2 Ornos) Talleres de Comunicación, a group of
25 art instructors who taught independent publishing and mural art workshops. During the following ten years, H2O conducted
the founding of nearly 500 small community and group presses, and the painting of nearly 1,100 collective murals throughout
Ehrenberg's interest in the socio-cultural aspects of art and community involvement brought him further into the public arena
in the 1980s. While still showing his work in both solo and group exhibitions, he ran unsuccessfully for congressional office
in 1982 as a member of PSUM, (Partido Socialista Unificado de México), and later became actively involved with protecting
the Tepito barrio of Mexico City from land developers in the aftermath of the 1985 earthquake. When an earthquake struck the
San Jacinto barrio of San Salvador a year later, Ehrenberg coordinated a rebuilding program through Barrio a Barrio, an organization
dedicated to promoting self-help based upon the experiences of the residents of Tepito. For his efforts on behalf of both
barrios, he received the Roque Dalton Medal from the Consejo de Cooperacion con la Cultura y la Sciencia en El Salvador (CONCISES)
in 1987. In 1984, Ehrenberg served as a guest lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he offered a seminar
in Art and Politics, as well as other coursework in art history. He returned in 1988 to repeat Art and Politics, and added
Making Things Visible: The Artist As Activist to his teaching curriculum.
For well over two decades, starting in the mid-1970s, a major artistic theme of Ehrenberg's has been Death, especially in
conjunction with the adaptation of indigenous Mexican traditions to Christianity. Invariably, he continues to present either
an exhibition of drawings, paintings or a large installation, in the form of a non-traditional altar, to celebrate the Day
of the Dead. In a similar vein, Ehrenberg frequently explores other aspects of the cross-cultural experience through his work.
In the Fall of 1990, as a visiting artist at Nexus Press, (Atlanta), he published the Codex Aeroscriptus Ehrenbergensis, an
anthology of his most recent stencil iconography, and in October of that same year, Ehrenberg created a large, out-door installation
titled "Light Up Our Border - I," commissioned by the Archer Huntington Gallery of the University of Texas at Austin. And,
following in November, he constructed the "Light up Our Border - II" installation piece at the Bridge Center For Contemporary
Art, in El Paso, Texas. These two works, as well as "Curtain Call," a two-part installation built for In-SITE 94 (San Diego/Tijuana),
dealt with the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. In November 1992, Ehrenberg presented a major project, an ambitious
multifaceted oeuvre called Preterito Imperfecto (Past Imperfect) at the prestigious Carrillo Gil Museum, in Mexico City. Mostly
installation pieces, the works dealt with the 500th Commemoration of the encounter between the three continents, America and
Europe as well as Africa. The exhibition was later displayed at different venues in Mexico, the USA and Canada. (Cite?)
Throughout the latter part of the 1990s and into the present, Ehrenberg has remained active as both an artist and essayist,
specializing in art theory and contemporary culture. In 1994, he constructed Tercera Llamada / Curtain Call, a diptych installation
at the Centro Cultural de Tijuana (CECUT), in Mexico, and at the Santa Fe Train Depot in San Diego, for inSITE 94. For Configura-2
(Erfurt, Germany) in 1995, Ehrenberg built "Tzompantli", an out-of-doors installation made with 15th Century beams and planks.
This last work became the very first installation piece to be acquired for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico.
Published early in 1996 by Mexico's Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Vidrios rotos y el ojo que los ve (Broken
glass and the eye that looks at it)", is a selected anthology of Ehrenberg's newspaper columns. More recently, he presented
two solo efforts in 1999, Virgenes Y Victimas ... y algo más; 15 años de estampas gráficas, and Violentus / Violatus, a graphic
realization of Ehrenberg's deep frustration with the economic dependency of Mexico on "white, elegant yuppies in their expensive
suits that sharecrop the country's rich harvest." (http://ehrenberg.tripod.com/presentacion2.html)
A Fellow in Mexico's National System for Creators, Ehrenberg currently resides in Brazil, where he is Cultural Attache at
the Mexican Embassy.