Nomadic design gallery Masa launches in Mexico City
Inside an abandoned 1970s home in Paseo de las Palmas, a new design, art and architecture platform opens with an exhibition inspired by Mexico’s creative roots
Despite Mexico’s plenitude of noteworthy designers producing groundbreaking work, the country lacks an internationally recognised gallery for collectible, limited-edition design. Masa has elegantly strutted in to change that. Presenting its inaugural show in an abandoned 1970s home in the verdant Paseo de las Palmas in Mexico City, Masa has made its intention in the industry clear.
Masa is a nomadic gallery that fuses art, design and architecture, inviting visitors to view exclusive pieces of furniture in dialogue with paintings and objets, set within an environment that represents everyday living. ‘We didn’t want a standard gallery model,’ explains co-founder Age Salajõe. ‘It had to be more disruptive.’ Without a permanent location, Masa will travel to intriguing venues, changing the work it shows according to locale. ‘We’ll evolve with the spaces, as we find locations that have magnificent character,’ Salajõe explains.
Above, Frida Escobedo’s chair. Below, works by Pedro Reyes and Brian Thoreen
Masa’s premier exhibition, ‘Collective/Collectible’, curated by Su Wu and Constanza Garza, showcases work by Mexicans or foreigners who have lived in the country and been influenced by it. In one nook, a copal burner by young local studio Tezontle is presided over by a surrealist painting by Leonora Carrington, a British artist involved in Mexico’s women’s liberation movement of the1970s. In the entrance hall, still painted bright red with matching carpets from the era, visitors are welcomed by Brian Thoreen’s ‘Tar Paper Stack’, towering over Pedro Reyes’ ‘Mitla Chairs’.
‘We want to give Mexican collectible design a global platform.’
Hector Esrawe’s lamps and Jose Davila sculptural table
The work of Reyes, a Mexican lauded by Design Miami (together with his wife Carla Fernández) as the Design Visionary 2018, is a solid match for that of Thoreen, a US designer who moved his studio to Mexico City last year and is a co-founder of Masa, along with Salajõe, Cristobal Riestra of OMR Gallery and Hector Esrawe, another powerhouse creative. Esrawe’s sensuously curved brass lamps stand in a room of their own on the first floor, as does a collaborative collection of bulbous glass vessels by Vissio, produced by Nouvel Studio.
Salajõe’s ambition for Masa and the next destination is evident: ‘we want to give Mexican collectible design a global platform.’ §