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					FOUR SEASONS                  M A G A Z I N E



                                                                      Move over, Miami. Mexico City, the very heart of Mexico and that other great gateway
                                                                      to all of Latin America, has become one of the art world’s most vibrant creative centres,
                                                                      with an ever-expanding art market and a solid base of superb museums, galleries, and
                                                                      year-round cultural attractions. Buoyed by the renaissance of architecturally rich dis-
                                                                      tricts like Condesa, an art deco jewel, and the bustling Centro Histórico, the city’s land-
                                                                      mark-filled downtown—proud symbols of local developers’, designers’, and artists’
                                                                      entrepreneurial energy—the Mexican capital has launched an international art fair, too:
                                                                      México Arte Contemporáneo (MACO). As Mexico’s artistic, economic, and political nerve
                                                                      centre, Mexico City is a place of richly overlapping (some might say constantly colliding)
                                                                      cultures: ancient and modern; indigenous, European, and North American. For art-
                                                                      makers and art lovers alike, this potent mixture of energies and influences—of time
                                                                      rushing forward in la vida loca and history surging forth at every turn—has become the
                                                                      intriguing, irresistible essence of Mexico City’s 21st-century allure. Read on for an
                                                                      overview of Mexico City’s art scene. The time-pressed can focus on the short lists of
                                                                      artists and galleries.

                                                                                                                     Mexican Art,
                                                                                                                     Then and Now

                                                                                                                     With roots in a figurative art        Numerous artists in Mexico,
                                                                                                                     tradition that stretched back      aware of what their modernist
                                                                                                                     to ancient Mesoamerican            peers in Europe and North
                                                                                                                     carvings, the great social-        America were up to, chafed at
                                                                                                                     realist muralists of the early     government support of the
                                                                                                                     20th century—Diego Rivera,         stylized mural painters. The
                                                                                                                     José Clemente Orozco, David        late-1950s “Rupture genera-
                                                                                                                     Alfaro Siqueiros—produced          tion” movement, led by

                                                                                                                     some of Mexico’s most              painter-printmaker José Luis
                                                                       Art dealers Eduardo
                                                                                                                     emblematic art, often cen-         Cuevas, encouraged them to
                                                                       Mier y Terán (left) of                        tered on political and histori-    break with the muralists’ aes-
                                                                       Terreno Baldío Arte                           cal themes. Mexican surreal-       thetics and doctrines and
                                                                       and Santiago Toca                             ists, including Remedios           explore more individualistic,

             hot new stars
                                                                       at the studio of sculptor                     Varo, from Spain, and              expressionistic modes. In the
                                                                       Javier Marín
                                                                                                                     Leonora Carrington, from           1990s, artist Gabriel Orozco’s
                                                                                                                     Britain, produced paintings        international success helped
                                                                                                                     whose air of fantasy had an        open the floodgates to a tide
                                                                                                                     affinity with a local sensibili-   of conceptualist strategies

Mining for                      in an emerging art capital                                                           ty shaped by myth, supersti-
                                                                                                                     tion, and a penchant for
                                                                                                                                                        that still prevail in contempo-
                                                                                                                                                        rary Mexican art.
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EDWARD M. GÓMEZ                                                                                   melodrama.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                 sumer culture are some of the        7319) and LA REFACCIONARIA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 big influences on the young          (Bucareli 128 E-40, Centro;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 artists whose works are shown        55/5512-0012) are two recently
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 here, including Humberto             opened spaces showcasing a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Duque’s watercolours and goofy       wide range of conceptualist and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 mixed-media constructions            sometimes pop-flavoured emerg-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Álvaro Obregón 49, Roma;            ing artists’ works. La Refaccio-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 55/5207-9858).                       naria is housed in the renovated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 INTERART Armando Zesatti’s           former stable of a palatial 1922
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 hyperrealist landscapes are          building that architecture buffs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 among this chic gallery’s biggest    should not miss. Liliana Ramales,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 hits (Dickens 33-C, Polanco;         a maker of wildly coloured paint-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 55/5282-2001).                       ings and mixed-media installa-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 KBK ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO               tions—like Cosmic (2007), con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Argentine dealer Ubaldo Kramer       sisting of 96 enamel-painted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 shows sculpture by Darío             coconuts—is one of the gallery’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Escobar and drawings and             rising stars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 mixed-media installations by         SANTIAGO TOCA ART
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Moris, a young Mexican who           CONSULTING A by-appointment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 finds inspiration in street ven-     gallery with a penchant for new
                                                                                                                                                                        Renato Garza Cervera, whose              dors’ stalls and do-it-yourself      forms of abstraction, like the
                                                                                                                                                                        Escape (2005) is a wall-mounted          shelters. Escobar, a Guatemalan,     texture-rich canvases and works
                                                                                                                                                                        cross from which a furtive Christ        covers skateboards and baseball      on paper of the Spanish-
                                                                                                                                                                        has descended (Lord Byron 53,            bats in silver, using decorative     Mexican painter Jordi Boldó
                                                                                                                                                                        Polanco; 55/5281-3674).                  embossing techniques that            (Avenida México 33, Interior F,
                                                                                                                                     Galleries in Mexico City are       GALERÍA EL ESTUDIO Work                  evoke the over-the-top stylings      Condesa; 55/5256-0868).
                                                                                                                                     more spread out than they are      by emerging artists and, for             of the region’s Spanish-baroque      TERRENO BALDÍO ARTE
                                                                                                                                     in New York or Paris, but many     Leonora Carrington fans, works           past (Petrarca 239-8, Polanco;       Javier Marín, one of Mexico’s
                                                                                                                                     are located in the northwestern    on paper by the legendary artist,        55/5250-7147).                       leading contemporary sculptors,
                                                                                                                                     colonia of Polanco and, just to    now 90, who lives in the neigh-          KURIMANZUTTO This itinerant          shows figurative work in bronze,
                                                                                                                                     the south, in Roma. Among the      bourhood (Álvaro Obregón 73,             gallery has no permanent exhibi-     clay, and resin at this much-
                                                                                                                                     hottest venues:                    Roma; 55/5525-1339).                     tion space but instead helps         watched young gallery, which
                                                                                                                                     ALFREDO GINOCCHIO ARTE             GALERÍA ENRIQUE GUERRERO                 artists present their creations in   he co-founded. Also featured:
                                                                                                                                     INTERNACIONAL Formerly Praxis      Artemio, a mixed-media artist            unusual locations—a fresh-food       sculptor Héctor Velázquez’s
                                                                                                                                     Arte Internacional, this outpost   who works in metal or neon or            market, an amusement park—           eerily beautiful yarn-covered
                                                                                                                                     for emerging and established       with found materials, and Jésica         and at international art venues.     human forms—heads, hands,
                                                                                                                                     Mexican contemporary artists       López, who paints portraits              Its stars include Gabriel Orozco,    and mysterious, gaping mouths
                                                          Gabriel Orozco at                                                                                             in acrylic on yellow legal-pad           Damián Ortega, and Miguel            (Orizaba 87, Roma; 55/5511-
                                                                                                                                     offers atmospheric photos of
S H O RT L I S T: A RT I S T S                            Kurimanzutto. Behind                                                                                          paper, are among the stars of            Calderón, all of whom work in        6440).
                                                                                                                                     photo-projections by Graciela
MIGUEL CALDERÓN, multimedia conceptual-                   him are two of his                                                                                            this gallery, which is also a good       conceptualist modes. The gallery     TRAEGER & PINTO Shows by
                                                                                                                                     Fuentes, painter Ofill Eche-
ist, Kurimanzutto.                                        paintings titled                                                                                              source for works by well-known           has also worked with “Dr.            an eclectic mix of local and
                                                                                                                                     varría’s frozen-moment urban
DARÍO ESCOBAR, mixed-media sculptor,                      Samurai Tree.                                                                                                 Mexican modernists (Horacio              Lakra” (Jerónimo López               foreign artists change frequently
                                                                                                                                     scenes, and Hugo Lugo’s paint-
KBK Arte Contemporáneo.                                                                                                                                                 1549, Polanco; 55/5280-2941).            Ramírez), a tattoo artist who        here. One of dealers Gerardo
                                                                                                                                     ings of men in suits confronting
DANIEL LEZAMA, painter of postmodernist,                                                                                                                                GALERÍA NINA MENOCAL                     embellishes pages from 1950s         Traeger and Eduardo Pinto’s
                                                                                                                                     giant extension cords or Rubik’s
allegorical history paintings, OMR.                                                                                                                                     (Zacatecas 93, Roma; 55/5564-            girlie and wrestling magazines.      recent discoveries, whose star
                                                                                                                                     Cubes (Arquímedes 175,
                                                                                              ISADORA HASTINGS/KURIMANZUTTO.

JAVIER MARÍN, figurative sculptor,                                                                                                                                      7209), with its strong ties to           Among his admirers: mega-            is rising fast (he just had a first
                                                                                                                                     Polanco; 55/5254-8813).
                                                                                              HELÚ: KEITHDANNEMILLER/ALAMY.

Terreno Baldío Arte.                                                                                                                                                    Cuba, and OMR (Plaza Río de              collector Charles Saatchi, who       solo show in Spain): 20-some-
                                                                                                                                     ARRÓNIZ ARTE CONTEMPO-
GABRIEL OROZCO, multimedia conceptual-                                                                                                                                  Janeiro 54, Roma; 55/5511-               has bought batches of the            thing Fernando Moreno, who
                                                                                                                                     RÁNEO A new gallery specializ-
ist, Kurimanzutto.                                                                                                                                                      1179) are mainstays of concep-           “doctor’s” works for his London      is based in Mexico City and
                                                                                                                                     ing in contemporary prints
HÉCTOR VELÁZQUEZ, mixed-media sculptor,                                                                                                                                 tualist work from Mexico and             collection (55/5286-3059 or          makes simple, dreamy pen-
                                                                                                                                     (Plaza Río de Janeiro 53, Roma;
Terreno Baldío Arte.                                                                                                                                                    overseas.                                         and-ink drawings on paper
ARMANDO ZESATTI, hyperrealist painter,                                                                                                                                  GARASH GALERÍA Rock music,               PROYECTOS MONCLAVA                   (Colima 179, Roma; 55/5525-
                                                                                                                                      EDS GALERÍA An outlet for
Interart.                                                                                                                                                               comics, urban life, and con-             (Colima 244, Roma; 55/5506-          4500).
                                                                                                                                        cheeky conceptualists like
      Carlos Slim                   Entrance to Terreno                Alfredo Ginocchio;                                      Galería El Estudio                                                 Galería Nina          Garash Galería sign    OMR
             Helú                           Baldío Arte                        artist Ofill                                                                                                          Menocal
                                                                        Echevarría (right)

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                            They’ve gotta                                                                                                 Save the
                            have it                                                                                                       dates
                            Mexico City’s most active collec-     The Lebanese-Mexican business-                                          “Tamayo: A Modern Icon
                            tors tend to be tight-lipped          man Carlos Slim Helú is also a                                          Reinterpreted,” a career-span-
                            about their holdings—but not          prominent collector; many of his                                        ning retrospective, opens at the
                            Eugenio López Alonso, scion of        acquisitions can be seen at the                                         Rufino Tamayo Museum on
                            the Jumex fruit juice company         SOUMAYA MUSEUM. Located in                                              October 26 (and runs through
                            and founder of the JUMEX              the southern part of the city, the   Works by emerging Mexican          January 21, 2008). Since
                            FOUNDATION/COLLECTION.                museum is named after Slim’s         artists and even those who are     advance publicity for
                            Based in Mexico City and Los          late wife and houses an in-          well-established in early phases   many exhibitions can be limited,
                            Angeles, López has amassed            depth Auguste Rodin collection       of their careers are affordable.   look for the latest edition
                            more than 1,000 works by inter-       and European paintings from          Prices range from less than        of the bimonthly Arte al Día or
                            national art stars and Latin-         the 15th through the 18th cen-       US$1,000 to around $2,500 for      for the free “Mapa de Galerías”
                            American contemporary artists.        turies. Works on view by mod-        many drawings, small paint-        map/calendar (available in
                            At this year’s MACO, his organi-      ern masters include those of         ings, or photographs, and          hotels and galleries or at
                            zation scooped up works by            Picasso, Dalí, Siqueiros, and        $4,000 and up for paintings by,
                            such Mexican artists as Laureana      Rivera (Plaza Loreto, corner of      for example, the wry surrealist    MACO, only five years old,
                            Toledo, a photographer, Minerva       Avenida Revolución and Río           Hugo Lugo. Armando Zesatti’s       quickly became the high point
                            Cuevas, a multimedia conceptu-        Magdalena, Tizapán, San Ángel;       canvases have reached $50,000      of the Mexico City art scene’s
                            alist, and Daniel Guzmán, a cre-      55/5616-3731). Like Jumex’s          at auction, and pieces by an       annual calendar and a new,
                            ator of installations consisting of   López, Mexico City–based David       international star like Gabriel    must-go event for globe-trotting
                            drawings, newspaper clippings,        Cohen is a young collector who       Orozco can sell for much more.     dealers and collectors. Featuring
                            and text scraps. López’s corpo-       also looks to the region and         Works by Mexican modernist         more than 70 galleries from
                            rate collection is housed in a        beyond for what moves him.           masters like Francisco Toledo      Mexico and the rest of Latin
                            building on the Jumex factory         Although his “Iris Collection,”      may be priced in the hundreds      America, Europe, and the U.S.,
                            grounds north of the capital and      named for his mother, is not on      of thousands or fetch millions     MACO takes place during the
                            is open by appointment; the           public display, Cohen has cer-       at auction, as did Frida Kahlo’s   first week of May. Still carving
                            Jumex Foundation/Collection           tainly become known to local         Roots, a 1943 canvas that sold     out its own identity in compari-
                            plans to build an annexe in           art dealers. His holdings include    for $5.6 million last year.        son to other, longer-running
                            Polanco in the near future            pieces by Chuck Close, Anselm                                           international fairs, MACO has
                            (Vía Morelos 272, Ecatepec de         Kiefer, Andy Warhol, Kendell                                            become known as a showcase
                            Morelos, Estado de México;            Geers (South Africa), and                                               for fresh talent from Mexico and
                            55/5775-8188).                        Ernesto Neto (Brazil).                                                  Latin America (macomexico.
                                                                                                                                          FOTOSEPTIEMBRE, a month-
                                                                                                                                          long festival of photography
                                                                                                                                          exhibitions in galleries, muse-
                                                                                                                                          ums, and offbeat venues
                                                                                                                                          throughout the city, takes place
                                                                                                                                          during September. For informa-
                                                                                                                                          tion on the 2008 event, check
                                                                                                                                          with the downtown CENTRO DE
                                                                                                                                          LA IMÁGEN (Plaza de la
                                                                                                                                          Ciudadela 2, Centro; 55/9172-
                                                                                                                                          4724), which presented a key
                                                                                                                                          exhibition in the 2007 event.

                                                                                                       At the Soumaya
                                                                                                       Museum: Detail of    S H O RT L I S T: G A L L E R I E S
                                                                                                       Still Life (1954),   GARASH GALERÍA, in the Roma district,
                                                                                                       a mural-sized        for urban-influenced work by early-career
                                                                                                       painting by Rufino   artists.
                                                                                                       Tamayo.              KBK ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO, in Polanco,
                                                                                                                            for emerging and established artists from
                                                                                                                            Mexico and Central America.
                                                                                                                            LA REFACCIONARIA, in Centro, for edgy
                                                                                                                            mixed media pieces, sculpture, and other
            Drawings by            Painted poodle (artist                                                                   work by emerging artists.
         Argentine artist    unknown) on Avenida Alvaro                                                                     OMR, in Roma, a solid source for conceptu-
      José Luis Landet at      Obregón. Right: Proyectos                                                                    alist art from Mexico and overseas.
              Arróniz Art      Monclava exhibition space                                                                    PROYECTOS MONCLOVA, in Roma, for
         Contemporáneo                    at México Arte                                                                    conceptualist and pop-flavoured works.
                                        Contemporáneo                                                                       TERRENO BALDÍO ARTE, in Roma, a much-
                                                                                                                            watched young gallery co-founded by
                                                                                                                            sculptor Javier Marín.

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                                                                                                                                         Must-see Museums
                                                                                                                                         For a sense of the broader historical context in which artists in Mexico are work-
                                                                                                                                         ing today, don’t miss:
                                                                                                                                         FINE ARTS PALACE This luxurious art deco pile of Carrara marble dating from 1904
                                                                                                                                         houses Rivera murals and is a venue for temporary modern art exhibitions
                                                                                                                                         (Avenida Juárez and Eje Lázaro Cárdenas, Centro; 55/5512-2593).
                                                                                                                                         FRIDA KAHLO HOUSE For devotees of the Kahlo cult, a pilgrimage to her home in
                                                                                                                                         the south of the capital, now a museum, is de rigueur (Londres 247, Coyoacán;
                                                                                                                                         MUSEUM OF MODERN ART The repository of a treasure trove of Mexican mod-
                                                                                                                                         ernism, it displays works by Rivera, Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, Siqueiros,
                                                                                                                                         Carrington, Rufino Tamayo, and Francisco Toledo (Paseo de la Reforma and Gandhi,
                                                                                                                                         Chapultepec Park; 55/5211-8331).
                                                                                                                                         NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART This renovated palacio houses a definitive collection
                                                                                                                                         of paintings and other works from the Spanish-colonial era through the mid-1900s.
                                                                                                                                         Of special interest: state-of-the-art galleries for drawings and prints, including
                                                                                                                                         engravings by the 19th-century caricaturist José Guadalupe Posada (Tacuba 8,
                                                                                                                                         Centro; 55/5130-3400).
                                                                                                                                         NATIONAL PALACE Here are Diego Rivera’s spectacular murals depicting Mexico’s
                                                                                                                                         long, complex history. This landmark building in the downtown historic district
                                                                                                                                         faces Plaza de la Constitución, the city’s vast central plaza, commonly known as the

                                                                                            Where the Art
                                                                                                                                         Zócalo (east side of the Zócalo, Centro; 55/5764-8500).
                                                                                                                                         RUFINO TAMAYO MUSEUM Across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, the

                                                                                            World Eats
                                                                                                                                         Tamayo presents internationally renowned Mexican and foreign artists’ works
                                                                                                                                         (Paseo de la Reforma and Gandhi, Chapultepec Park; 55/5286-6519).

                                                                                            Compared to Americans, chi-      include cocoa-crusted             DELIRIO Chef Mónica Patiño’s     Alvaro Obregón 130, Pasaje
                                                                                            langos (Mexico City residents)   venison with bananas and          year-old gourmet food and        El Parián; 55/5574-8577).
                                                                                            eat lunch and dinner late; the   esquites (Petrarca 254;           wine shop and café offers        RESTAURANTE CASA LAMM

                                                                                            midday meal can start around     55/5545-4111).                    light daily specials for         The restaurant of the Casa
                                                                                            3:00 p.m., and dinner as late                                      gallery-hoppers (Monterrey       Lamm Cultural Centre is a
                                                                                            as 10. The following hot                                           116; 55/5584-0870).              glass-box pavilion that juts
                                                                                            spots are art world favourites   CAFÉ LA GLORÍA, a bistro          LA ANTIGUA CORTESANA             out into the garden court-

                                                                                            for lunch or dinner.             founded by an artist, offers      revisits Mexican classics in     yard of a century-old Euro-
                                                                                                                             a Mediterranean menu,             zesty ways. A main-dish deli-    pean-style mansion and
                                                                                                                             still a rarity in Mexico City.    cacy: fusilli in a dark sauce    offers such delicacies as
                                                                                            IZOTE Master chef Patricia       Its walls provide space for art   made from huitlacoche, the       coconut-crusted giant shrimp
UP & COMERS                                                                                 Quintana’s flagship restau-      shows (Vicente Suárez 41;         corn fungus called the Mexi-     with mango sauce (Avenida
DR. LAKRA, tattoo artist who makes drawings                                                 rant lures Mexican-food con-     55/5211-4180).                    can truffle (Chiapas 173-A;      Alvaro Obregón 99, Roma;
on old magazine pages, at Kurimanzutto.                                                     noisseurs, including dealers     LA FLOR DE LYS An institu-        55/5584-4678).                   55/1485-0104).
JÉSICA LÓPEZ, painter of portraits on legal-pad                                             and their clients. Quintana is   tion since 1926, this simple      NON SOLO BAR A great             RESTAURANTE COVADONGA
paper, at Galería Enrique Guerrero.                                                         an innovator who serves          eatery offers a full menu         location on a main avenue in     In its upstairs dining room
HUGO LUGO, post-pop painter, at Alfredo
                                                                                            mole sauce with duck             of Mexican classics and           the Roma gallery district,       (lunch only), this traditional
Ginocchio Arte Internacional.
FERNANDO MORENO, pen-and-ink drawings                                                       (instead of the usual chicken)   is famous for its mouth-          European-bistro fare, and,       restaurant’s Spanish and
artist and painter, at Traeger & Pinto.                Rufino Tamayo Museum. Below:         and a tangy ceviche with         watering tamales (Huichapan       at night, the lounge-groovy      Mexican delicacies include La

MORIS, mixed-media installation artist, at KBK    Entrance to the permanent collection      tangerine juice (Presidente      17; 55/5286-0811).                sounds of a live DJ have         Mancha–style garlic soup,
Arte Contemporáneo.                                      of the Museum of Modern Art.       Masaryk 513; 55/5280-1671).                                        made this small bar-restau-      paella, and huachinango (red
LILIANA RAMALES, painter and mixed-media                 Opposite: Casa Lamm Cultural
                                                                                            PUJOL Young superchef                                              rant a favorite haunt of         snapper) in the Veracruz
installation artist, at La Refaccionaria.              Centre; daily specials at Delirio.
                                                                                            Enrique Olvera’s delicacies      CARAVANSERAÏ MAISON               artists, designers, and other    style. Covadonga’s first-floor
                                                                                                                             FRANÇAISE DE THÉ This             purveyors of cool (Avenida       cantina (dinner and evening
                                                                                                                             tearoom run by a young                                             service only) offers the same
                                                                                                                             Frenchman, with its retro-chic                                     menu in a setting that recalls
                                                                                                                             décor, is a popular hangout                                        an old Buñuel film (Puebla
                                                                                                                             for artists and their amigos                                       121, Roma; 55/5533-2922).
                                                                                                                             (Orizaba 101-A; 55/5511-2877).

                                                                                            FALL 2007                                                                                                                      205

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