Grant Recipients Grants to Artists Visual Arts 2023

Angel Lartigue

Angel Lartigue kneels on the floor looking down at several plastic cups of clear liquid. She has blue paint speckled on her face and neck. She wears a black leather one-piece outfit with black surgical gloves and hoop earrings.
Photo by Disha Khakheria.
  • 2023 Grants to Artists
  • Visual Arts
  • Artist, Researcher
  • Born 1990, Houston, TX
  • Lives in Houston, TX
  • Additional Information

Artist Statement

All my work is what I define as a process of “putrefaction,” one of the biological stages of decomposition. This research has led me to study human decomposition and archaeological techniques of exhumation, and propel these studies into the biological arts, site-specific ceremonial rituals, sculpture, drawing, and essay writing. My work is the story of many types of transitions by embracing the context of the land and body, the line between biological life and death, and our own personal transformations.

- December 2022


Angel Lartigue is a curatorial and artistic researcher whose work explores the relationship between the body and land through the use of “putrefaction” matter as raw material. This concentration has led her to experimenting with archaeological processes of decomposition in artworks, incorporating fungi, insects, and even odors captured during fieldwork.

Lartigue’s Bacteriomancy (2022), a two-part performance, explores how living matter can carry memories of pandemics past and present brought about by colonialism, imperialism, and military occupation. For the group exhibition unending beginnings at University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA (2022), Lartigue incorporated organic matter such as seaweed collected from neighboring coastlines and extracted agar nutrients from the seaweed to grow bacteria and fungi in acrylic purses. Bacteriomancy culminated in a ritual performance during which Lartigue dissected and mummified a lamprey.

Lartigue’s solo exhibitions include Por los siglos de los siglos, Wedge Space Houston Community College, Houston, TX (2019) and La ciencia avanza pero yo no (Science Advances But I Do Not), BOX13 ArtSpace, Houston, TX (2017). She has performed and shown work in group exhibitions at the Outsider Art Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2022); DiverseWorks, Houston, TX (2022, 2019); The Latinx Project at New York University, New York, NY (2021); and Art League Houston, Houston, TX (2019), among others. Lartigue designed the label book, La ciencia avanza pero yo no (2017), which is in the rare books collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Hirsch Library, Houston, TX. She participated in the international conference “Taboo-Transgression-Transcendence in Art & Science 2020,” hosted by the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Vienna, Austria, presenting her essay “Science at the Club: Putrefaction as an Artistic Medium.”

Lartigue has been awarded grants for collaborative projects through the Idea Fund (2022, 2021) and U.S. Latinx Art Forum’s CHARLA Fund (2021). She was an honorary research fellow to the artistic laboratory SymbioticA at the University of Western Australia (2020).

Lartigue has undergone training in human remains recovery at the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State.

Angel Lartigue crouches on the sand in front of a clear acrylic box with her back facing the camera. She wears a hooded black leather jacket. Behind her, the shoreline extends into the distance where it eventually meets a mountain range as waves crash against the beach.
Bacteriomancy, phase I, 2022, ritual performance, acrylic purses, microorganisms, seaweed and algae collected from the Los Angeles river and coast. Photo by Alexandra Lartigue.
A clear acrylic box with gold accents and a gold chain filled with seaweed and a gelatinous substance.
Detail of Bacteriomancy at Mateo Gallery at USC Roski School of Art & Design, Los Angeles, 2022.
Angel Lartigue kneels in a parking lot, pouring ash or sand from a clay pot onto a large white square covered with several other clay pots and a dissected fish.
Performance still from Bacteriomancy, phase II, at USC Roski School of Art & Design, Los Angeles, 2022. Photo by Alex Currie.
A gallery wall with a picture of Angel Lartigue in front of an altar on the left, a bust of a bearded head in the center, and a vertical row of three pictures of Angel Lartigue holding a medical needle filled with estrogen. Projected onto the wall is an image of a fence surrounding a small cemetery and a building with a sign which reads “Yes, We’re Open.”
Installation view of Floating Don Pedro Jaramillo / Tachypleus tridentaus hybrid, 2022, ceramic bust in collaboration with Nadin Nassar at DiverseWorks, Houston, TX.
Angel Lartigue sits on a kneeler in front of an altar with flowers, a cross, and various religious objects including two statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is wearing a green dress, a necklace, and is injecting estrogen into her thigh with a medical needle.
Performance still from Subcutaneous injection of estrogen, at Don Pedro Jaramillo shrine, Falfurrias, TX, 2022. Photo by Tere Garcia.
A long sheet of light blue graph paper lying on a concrete floor covered with penciled sketches and illegible writing and held down with white votive candles in each corner.
Forensic burial map of cadaver after exhumation (part of Water, Moon), 2018-2022, pencil on graph paper and vellum graph paper, 86” × 34.”
Angel Lartigue stands on a long, raised platform in a parking lot. Her torso is twisted down to her left as she lifts her purple dress to reveal her upper thigh. On the stage in front of her are clay pots. In front of the stage there are seated viewers. Behind her is a city skyline and the night sky.
Performance still from Bacteriomancy, phase II, at USC Roski School of Art & Design, Los Angeles, 2022. Photo by Alex Currie.