What to see at Mexico City Art Week 2018

Every February, the creative community descends on Mexico City for a week of art and design fairs, pop-up shows, gallery openings, and tequila-fuelled parties. And there’s even more reason to celebrate this year, after Mexico City deservedly scooped Best City in our annual Design Awards. Here’s what not to miss at this year’s Mexico City Art Week...

Sean Scully artworks at Cuadra San Cristóbal designed by Luis Barragán

Sean Scully takes on Luis Barragán

Cuadra San Cristóbal

(Image credit: Felix Friedmann)

The Irish-born, American artist Sean Scully first visited Mexico in the early 1980s — a country which has continued to inspire him over the years. Coinciding with Mexico City’s art week, Scully’s work is celebrated at Cuadra San Cristóbal, one of Luis Barragán’s modernist masterpieces, on the outskirts of Mexico City. The site-specific exhibition is the first to take place at the equestrian and residential complex, completed in 1968 by the late Mexican architect. It features 15 recent paintings and three sculptures, installed in a bold yet poetic dialogue with the architecture of the estate.

‘Sean Scully — San Cristóbal’ is on view until 24 March, by appointment only; Cuadra San Cristóbal, Avenue Juárez 59B, Los Clubes, 52957 Ciudad López Mateos

Studio Nouvel's glass artworks curated by Cecilia León de la Barra at Zona Maco

Zona Maco turns 15

Centro Citibanamex

(Image credit: TBC)

For its 15th anniversary, Zona Maco opened with bang. Mexico’s leading art fair continues to bring the best of the international art world, with this year 170 exhibitors from 27 countries. While the main section features a number of blue chip galleries – including Gagosian, Lisson and Almine Rech – the New Proposals section, curated by Humberto Moro, puts emerging artists centerstage. There, some particularly memorable works included the queer paintings of Mexican artists Manuel Solano and Ana Segovia at Karen Huber Gallery, and some bonkers, food-inspired resin sculptures by Andrew Ross at Galleria Mascota. Meanwhile in the design section, curated by Cecilia León de la Barra, an incredible glass-centric collection (pictured) was presented at the booth of Studio Nouvel, designed in collaboration with the Mexican designers Esrawe and Emiliano Godoy, as well as the American Brian Thoreen.

Until 11 February; Centro Citibanamex, Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City; www.zonamaco.com (opens in new tab)

Carlos Amorales at El Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo

Carlos Amorales

El Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo

(Image credit: TBC)

Operating at the intersection of film, animation, graphics, performance and sound, Carlos Amorales’ work has oscillated between abstraction and figuration, reality and fantasy. For this untraditional anti-restrospective, the Mexican artist has invited the curator of El Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) to interpret his 22 years of artistic production based on conceptual axes, rather than chronology. The exhibition features the 2007 installation Black Cloud (pictured), consisting of 30,000 paper cut-outs of black moths individually glued to the walls, as well as his recent project Life in the Folds (presented last year at the Venice Biennale), which is centred around a silent, black-and-white film that narrates the story of a migrant family who is lynched by the community to which they’ve migrated.

‘Axiomas para la acción (1996 – 2018), Carlos Amorales’ is on view until 16 June; El Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Insurgentes Sur 3000, Centro Cultural Universitario, Coyoacán, Mexico City; www.muac.unam.mx (opens in new tab)

Cerith Wyn Evans artworks at Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico

Cerith Wyn Evans

Museo Rufino Tamayo

(Image credit: TBC)

For the first monographic exhibition of the Welsh conceptual artist and sculptor in Mexico, the Museo Tamayo presents 12 pieces from the past ten years, installed to respond to the architecture of the museum – a 1970s, brutalist building made of concrete, steel and glass, nestled in the heart of Chapultepec Park. The show is centred around a large-scale, neon-based installation from 2015, suspended from the ceiling of the museum’s central patio.

‘CerIth Wyn Evans’ is on view until 6 May; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Paseo de la Reforma 51, Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City; www.museotamayo.org (opens in new tab)

Cerith Wyn Evans artworks at Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City

Cerith Wyn Evans

Museo Rufino Tamayo

(Image credit: TBC)

Other exhibited works include pairs of ornate glass chandeliers that flash on and off; a series of glass-flutes, suspended in a radial arrangement and a directional speaker playing live-streamed extracts from radio telescopes.

‘Cerith Wyn Evans’ is on view until 6 May; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Paseo de la Reforma 51, Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City; www.museotamayo.org (opens in new tab)

mexico city art

Material Art Fair

Frontón México

(Image credit: TBC)

Often labeled Mexico City’s ‘alternative art fair’, Material has consistently punched above its weight since its creation five years ago, becoming a key player of the art scene locally as well as internationally (in fact, a number of galleries have migrated from Zona Maco to Material over the past two years). For this fifth edition, the fair moves to a new venue: the Frontón México, a 1929 art deco sporting arena, facing the Plaza de la República near the historic centre. This year, 53 exhibitors from 17 countries are hosted in a space designed by the local architecture firm APRDELESP, and dotted with furniture pieces by the Mexico-based, French designer Fabien Capello.

Material Art Fair runs 8 – 11 February; Frontón México, De La República 17, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City; www.material-fair.com (opens in new tab)

Pictured, Unnamed, by James Hoff, presented by Supportico Lopez

The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit in Mexico City

The Lulennial II

Lulu

(Image credit: TBC)

Mexico City’s most influential project space – operating out of a mini white-cube of only 21 sq m, in Roma Sur – Lulu presents the second edition of its infrequent, mock Biennial: The Lulennial. Following an acclaimed first edition in 2014, ‘A Low-Hanging Fruit’ continues to subvert the biennial format as a large-scale exhibition, which generally favours the morally bombastic and the topical.

‘The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit’ is on view until 1 April; Lulu, Bajío 231, Colonia Roma, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City; www.luludf.com (opens in new tab)

The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit exhibition, Mexico

The Lulennial II

Lulu

(Image credit: TBC)

Aligned to that ambition, this year’s Lulennial takes fruit as its subject, featuring a number of international artists including Jef Geys, Yuji Agematsu, Rodrigo Hernandez, and Aliza Nisenbaum. It is curated by Lulu’s co-founder Chris Sharp and the Los Angeles-based writer Andrew Berardini.


‘The Lulennial II: A Low-Hanging Fruit’ is on view until 1 April; Lulu, Bajío 231, Colonia Roma, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City; www.luludf.com (opens in new tab)

mexico city art week

José Davila

Galería OMR

(Image credit: Agustín Arce)

In this exhibition, the gravity-defying sculptures of José Davila are at once melancholic and romantic, confronting the rawness of materials like stone, volcanic rock and concrete with the lightness of an apple, napier grass or a even a balloon. The Guadalajara-based, Mexican artist refers to American minimalism while also pointing to Latin-American movements like Neo-Concrete and modern architecture, in what appears as a poetic conflict that oscillates between shape, environment, weight and strength.

‘Mecánica de lo inestable, José Davila’ is on view until 24 March; Galería OMR Córdoba 100, Roma Nte, Mexico City; www.galeriaomr.com (opens in new tab)

rock

José Davila

Galería OMR

(Image credit: Agustín Arce)

Taking place over the two floors of Galería OMR, in the hip neighbourhood of Roma Norte, ‘Mecánica de lo inestable’ is like a window into the artist’s position as a reorganiser of structures, in their delicate state of stillness.

‘Mecánica de lo inestable, José Davila’ is on view until 24 March; Galería OMR Córdoba 100, Roma Nte, Mexico City; www.galeriaomr.com (opens in new tab)

parachute

Tania Candiani

Museo del Chopo

(Image credit: TBC)

Ascensión Cautiva explores the history of aeronautics in Mexico with a site-specific installation at Museo del Chopo, a building designed by Bruno Möhring as a pavilion for a 1902 art and textile exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany. For this exhibition, the Mexican artist Tania Candiani set up a sewing workshop within the museum, leading to the creation of a large air balloon which is now floating amid the central galleries.

Museo del Chopo, Doctor Enrique González Martínez 10, Santa María la Ribera, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City; www.chopo.unam.mx (opens in new tab)

Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman

Casa Luis Barragán

(Image credit: TBC)

In addition to Cuadra San Cristobál, another building by Luis Barragán plays host to an incredible contemporary-art exhibition. Taking place at Casa Luis Barragán — the former home and studio of the late Mexican architect — ‘Parameters’ is the first solo exhibition in Mexico by the multi-disciplinary American artist Bruce Nauman. The show consists of five video works, displayed on monitors and projectors throughout the house and in the studio. Showcasing Nauman’s work in such an iconic landmark invites a new reading of the artist’s preoccupations with the body, architecture and space, present throughout his career.

‘Parameters, Bruce Nauman’ is on view until 15 April; Casa Luis Barragán, Gral Francisco Ramírez 12-14, Col Ampliación Daniel Garza, Mexico City; www.estanciafemsa.mx (opens in new tab)

Nairy Baghramian

Nairy Baghramian

Kurimanzutto

(Image credit: TBC)

One of the most influential contemporary sculptors today, the Iranian artist Nairy Baghramian has consistently pushed the boundaries of sculpture while addressing the political implications of design. For her first exhibition at the Mexican powerhouse Kurimanzutto, Baghramian shows recent sculptures, collectively titled ‘Maintainers’. Made of raw aluminium casts, coloured wax forms and lacquer painted bracesare, the works are presented in a disparate composition within the gallery, suggesting at once interdependence and connectivity.

‘Maintainers’ is on view until 3 March; Kurimanzutto, Gob Rafael Rebollar 94, Col San Miguel Chapultepec, Mexico City; www.kurimanzutto.com (opens in new tab)