This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Mexico City Edition

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on February 1, 2016 Events + MEXICO

ArtSpace Mexico

Rocío Asensi: Memoria RROM at ArtSpace Mexico

¡Estamos en México D.F.!

We’re here for the art fairs ZONA MACO and Material, but there’s literally so much going on in this city of 20+ million people that it’s only Monday and we’re overwhelmed. There’s no shortage of art events. We’ve done our best to collect some of the shows we think should be on your must-see list, ranging from heady shows such as that of artists Virginia Colwell and Emre Hüner at Iniciativa Curatorial MARSO to the fusion of more minimal and playful aesthetics by José León Cerrillo at josé garcía. If you think there’s anything we should add to our list let us know. And look to the blog tomorrow for our Mexico City Weekend Guide. There’s literally so much worthy of your attention here we had to split our post in two!

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Melchor Ocampo 154-A
Col. San Rafael, Del. Cuauhtemoc Ciudad de México, D.F.
6:00 p.m. 9:00 p.mWebsite

Calixto Ramírez: MANCA

Tonight there are several openings in historic Colonia San Rafael, just north of DF’s center. We’re heading to Calixto Ramírez’s first. There’s not a lot of information online about the exhibition, but a quick Google Image Search reveals performative photographs of the artist engaging with obstacles—walls, deserts, hurdles. They’re a bit absurd (in a good way) and feel poignant given the present discourse over the movement of humans across borders and other socially-constructed barriers.

Casa Maauad

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano 20
Colonia San Rafael, 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F.
8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.Website

Chantal Peñalosa: Mañana Mañana & Arjan Guerrero: Media Forensis

Walking distance from YAUTEPEC, Casa Maauad has a double-whammy of openings tonight. In the main gallery, there’s a solo show by video artist Chantal Peñalosa, who has been working in Tecate, along the Baja/California border. Most of the galleries have been divided with a maze of glass panes obscured with newspapers, evoking the act of “blacking-out” one’s windows but also wallpapering the space with an overload of random pop/news content. In the gallery’s project room, Arjan Guerrero’s Media Forensis presents a semi-fictional crime scene investigation into the disappearance of 43 student protesters in Guerrero, Mexico in 2014 and the aftermath. Similarly to the actual tragedy, we’re never quite sure what’s presented as “real”and what’s intended as a critique of the government’s  obfuscations.


Museo Tamayo

Paseo de la Reforma y Gandhi s/n,
Bosque de Chapultepec, 11580 Ciudad de México, D.F.
1:00 p.m.Website

Do Paintings Bite? (¿Las pinturas muerden?) Keynote Speaker: Hans -Ulrich Obrist

Art-star curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist will lead a discussion about violence in paintings and its relationship to geopolitics. This program is an extension of the Leon Golub retrospective that closes Sunday, so it’s a great opportunity to check out the show, the Museo Tamayo, and the famous Bosque de Chapultepec—DF’s equivalent of Central Park, where one can encounter everything from contemporary art, to a castle (really!) and costumed street performers. It’s walking distance from La Condesa/Roma and a short metro ride from the fairs.

House of Gaga

Amsterdam 123
Colonia Condesa Mexico D.F. 06100
6:00 p.m.Website

Josef Strau: Loyalties

True to our own hearts, Josef Strau is an artist who writes and a writer who makes art. We’re not sure what this exhibition is going to look like, but Strau’s past projects incorporate both literal text and semiotically-loaded materials. They’re not too heady to the point of sacrificing joy though—he’s built mazes out of cardboard boxes and drywall. Picture yourself as a child hiding in a neat fort to read …critical theory?

joségarcía, mx

Dresde 2
Colonia Juarez, 06600 Ciudad de México, D.F.
6:00 p.m.Website

José León Cerrillo: nueva gramática, doble falta y las posibles

José León Cerrillo’s installations and 2D works are the rare fusion of minimal and playful: everything I love about Mexico’s aesthetic ethos. There’s not a lot of information about this particular show, but from the title and the artist’s oeuvre I’m guessing there will be light-handed, architecturally and typographically-informed works that play with semiotics.

Espacio Arterial

Querétaro 99
Colonia Roma Norte, 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F.
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Do the Hokey Cokey

This group show is a collaboration between London’s Chalton Gallery and DF’s Espacio Arterial. It’s curated around the premise of raw materials responding to different cultural/socio-political contexts. That sounds pretty dry, but the work looks like it’s going to be fun.

Artists: Melissa Kime, Keef Winter (pictured), Paul Schneider, Perce Jerrom, Richards Hards, Jessy Richards, Henry Coleman and Derzu Campos.

Arredondo Arozarena

Praga #27
Col. Juárez 06600, Ciudad de México, D.F.
6:00 p.m.Website

Luis Úrculo: Las Cosas & Cristobal Gracia: Presagio de Muerte

This is another gallery/project space double opening. Based on the trailer for Luis Úrculo’s Las Cosas (the things), I can’t wait to see this show. The video shows the Madrid/D.F. based artist interacting with a variety of raw and consumer materials, from construction supplies to Styrofoam and spray paint. Watching it makes me want to play with all the tactile, maleable, mark-make-able things in the world. The act of making never looked so seductive.

Galería Lelaboratoire

Vicente Suárez 69,
Colonia Condesa, 06140 Ciudad de México, D.F.
7:00 p.m.Website

Enrique Rosas: LUZ ABERRANTE

Enrique Rosas makes intricate Op-Art/psychedelic works on paper, but the real highlight here is the trippy monolith covered in mapped projections towering over the gallery like a Kabba that’s more acid-trip than pilgrimage


Francisco Ramírez 5
Col. Daniel Garza 11830 Ciudad de México, D.F.
7:00 p.m.Website

Terrence Gower: Free Association / Asociación Libre

Terrence Gower is a Canadian artist who lives in New York and is represented by a gallery in Mexico City. Appropriately, his work deals with the International Style. The modernist city, in all it’s utopian glory, is a seemingly popular subject this week. No complaints here.

Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo ,

Plaza Río de Janeiro 53 PB
Colonia Roma, 06700
7:00 p.m. Website

Mauro Giaconi: IMPERMANENCIA & Mónica Espinosa: I will shake myself into the invisible pocket

In the main gallery, Mauro Giaconi’s monochromatic paintings evoke ancient stone slabs and inscrutable cuneiform. Tally marks and obsessive mark-making seem to document the passing of time. In the project space, painter/sculptor Mónica Espinosa’s solo show (pictured) looks to be an aesthetically-opposite exercise in restraint, though her work feels just as intimate.

Iniciativa Curatorial MARSO

Berlin 37
Cuauhtémoc, Ciudad de México, D.F
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.mWebsite

Virginia Colwell / Emre Hüner



Every work by Virginia Colwell begins with a story. Her work beautifully weaves together personal history, repeated history and fabricated history. Emre Huner looks at the structure that shapes and has been shaped by these stories; modernist dreams, crumbling utopias, and futuristic landscapes.

It’s hard to think of a better show pairing then these two artists, so kudos to Curator Carla Fernández for that. As for what will be on view: that’ll have to be a surprise. The show’s press release offers only these seemingly oppositional words.


Museo Nacional de Antropología

Gandhi S/N esq. av. Reforma,
11100 Ciudad de México, D.F.
9:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m.Website

Híbridos: El cuerpo como imaginario (Hybrids: The Body as Imaginary) Day 1

This is a two day conference on the image of “the hybrid”—an important concept in Mexican culture from the Pre-Columbian gods to the contemporary mestizo identity. Here, “the hybrid” is discussed in a global context, with artists from France, Mexico, and the US in multi-lingual lectures and panel discussions. Don’t worry: there will be translators doing linguistic acrobatics to make make this work.

• 10:00 a.m.: Inauguración (opening)
Miguel Fernández Felix, Tatyana Franck, Valentine Losseau

• 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Conferencia inaugural (first conference)
Arqueologías de la imagen híbrida (archaeology of the hybrid image)
Eduardo Matos Moctezuma

• 12:10 p.m.– 2:00 p.m.: Mesa 1 (table one)
Quimeras inaprensibles: procesos de configuración y construcción de la imagen híbrida (elusive chimeras: processes of configuration and construction of the hybrid image)
Carlo Severi
Raymundo Mier

• 2:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m: Receso (break)

• 4:00 p.m. – 5:40 p.m.: Mesa 2 (table two)
Híbridos contemporáneos: crear lo imposible, exponer lo inclasificable (Contemporary Hybrids: To create the impossible, to expose the unclassifiable)
Raphaël Cuir
Jean-Hubert Martin
Moderador : Valentine Losseau

Centro Banamex, Sala D

Av. Conscripto 311
Col. Lomas de Sotelo, Ciudad de México, D.F. 11200
4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


The fair that started it all, Zona MACO, is one of the most important art events in Latin America. Here you’ll find American blue-chip galleries alongside Mexican dealers who don’t always make it to other art fairs as well as European and South American gallerists. Plan to spend a whole day here. It’ll be worth it.

Centro Cultural de España en México

Calle Republica de Guatemala 18
06010 Ciudad de México, D.F.
7:00 p.m.Website

Susana Casarin ¡Ahí va el golpe! Historias de la Merced

Mexican photographer Susana Casarin shoots gritty city life—poverty stricken apartments, aging club kids, and moody landscapes. Think Nan Goldin, in a Central American palette, and that’s basically what you’ve got. Casarin’s shot a lifetime of images—she’s had 27 solo shows over the course of her career, so this exhibition surveying her work should be worth a look.


Museo Nacional de Antropología

Gandhi S/N esq. av. Reforma,
11100 Ciudad de México, D.F.
10:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m.Website

Híbridos: El cuerpo como imaginario (Hybrids: The Body as Imaginary) Day 2 Featuring ORLAN

Day two of Híbridos features the queen of body modification ORLAN. This is going to be good and weird and so totally worthwhile.

• 10:00 a.m – 11:50 a.m.: Mesa 3 (table 3)
Hibridaciones subversivas: culturas y sistemas de signos en las dinámicas contemporáneas. (Subversive Hybrids: cultures and systems of signs in contemporary dynamics)
Néstor García Canclini
Adolfo Mantilla
Moderador: Dafne Cruz Porchini

• 12:00 p.m.– 1:50 p.m.: Mesa 4 (table 4)
Identidades Múltiples en Arte y el Ritual: Las cuestiones políticas. (Multiple Identities in Art and the Ritual)
Théo Mercier
Johannes Neurath
Moderador: Valentine Losseau

• 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Receso (break)

• 4:00 p.m.-5:20 p.m.: Conferencia magistral
Las metamorfosis del cuerpo: el individuo puesto a prueba en el imaginario colectivo (Keynote Speaker: The metamorphosis of the body: the individual testing in the collective imagination)
Moderador : Tatyana Franck

Clausura (Closing notes: Director of the National Museum of Anthropology)
Antonio Saborit- Director del Museo Nacional de Antropología.

Expo Reforma

Avenida Morelos
06600 Cuauhtémoc, Distrito Federal, Mexico
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Website

Material Art Fair Vol III

Material has a reputation as both an extremely smart and extremely fun art fair. Think NADA with shots of mezcal and a strong curatorial ethos. It’s no surprise then that we’re looking forward to seeing a pop-up of the Lower East Side gallery/club Beverly’s with work from artists including Alan Gutierrez and art-band Drooids.

You can also catch me (Michael) as one of the actors in AFC fav Jaimie Warren’s epic performance at American Medium‘s booth. We’ll be performing at  6, 7 and 8 p.m. I won’t give away too much, but it will be disgusting and great.


Parque Galería

Puebla 170
Colonia Roma, 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F.
6:00 p.m.Website

Andrea Geyer: Truly Spun Never

Inspired in part by Weimar Germany, Andrea Geyer’s solo show is the product of research on women in art history. One series (out of three) piques my interest especially: a series of collages honoring the women of the Bauhaus. It’s a fitting topic for visitors to Mexico City, where there’s a huge Bauhaus influence in the design ethos.

Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura

General Francisco Ramírez 4
Col. Ampliación Daniel Garza, 11840, Mexico DF
7:00 PM - 10:30 PMWebsite

ARCHIVO(S) Hotel Camino Real

Curated by Pablo León de la Barra, this exhibition mines the history of the storied Hotel Camino Real, a modernist masterpiece designed by Ricardo Legorreta. The hotel was originally conceived as a fusion of art, architecture, and design. But like most idealistic midcentury projects, the structure suffered a series of renovations that botched the original vision. ARCHIVO(S) attempts an immersive installation that recaptures the original spirit of the hotel in its prime.

Artists/Architects: Mathias Goeritz, Luis Barragán, Alexander Calder, Anni Albers, Pedro Friedeberg, Lance Wyman, Armando Salas Portugal, Julius Shulman, Sam Peckinpah, Alberto Vivar, Carla Fernández, Lake Verea, Claudia Fernández, Mario García Torres, Christoph Draeger

ArtSpace México

Campeche 281
Hipódromo, 06100 Ciudad de México, D.F.
8:00 p.m.Website

Rocío Asensi: Memoria RROM

I saw this show last weekend, and it’s amazing. ArtSpace México is an intimate gallery with indoor/outdoor exhibition space and a gorgeous garden. Visitors enter through a chapel-like space that’s been utterly transformed with pans of running water and votive candles that spell out “Momento Mori”. This solo show from Spanish/Mexican artist Rocío Asensi evokes travel and memory in a surprising diversity of materials and aesthetics. In one piece, a kitschy orientalist lamp is framed by a projected cloud displaying images of London and Madrid. The images shift from advertisements to protesters to commuters on the subway. In another, photos reminiscent of travel snapshots are punctured and backlit to spell out text such as “WHY NOT?” penetrating an image of a rural dirt road. Everything here feels magical.


Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes

Av. Juárez
Centro Histórico, 06050 Ciudad de México, D.F.
5:00 p.m.Website

Presentación del libro Las vanguardias artísticas Ruso-Soviéticas de Jorge Juanes López.


Philosopher and art critic Jorge Lopez Juanes’s new book  “Las vanguardias artísticas ruso-soviéticas” presents an overview of the Russian-Soviet avant-garde, its difference from the rest of the vanguards of the twentieth century and its artistic and aesthetic contributions. He will talk with Ana Elena González, a doctor of culture and history of early modern England, France and Spain with Moderator Helena Rangel who oversees publishing at the Palace Museum of Fine Arts.
The book will be sold for 299 pesos (~USD $16) at the event.


Calle Artículo 123 #20, interior 5
06010 Ciudad de México, D.F.
6:00 p.m.Website


New media artists unite! This show brings together artists who work with digital technologies in some way; be it digital representation of these technologies, synthetic material production, or the bleeps and blips of electronic music.  

Participating Artists: Minerva Ayón, Terrell Davis, Luis Hidalgo, Wasted Fates, Héctor Llanquin, Milton Melvin Croissant III, Gibrann Morgado, Luis Nava, Dolphin Star Temple, Daniel Pérez Ríos, Travis Egedy (Pictureplane), Matías Reding, Luis Trasto, Miguel Ángel Salazar

Curated by MATERIA and Janet40


Joaquin García Icazbalceta #30
Colonia San Rafael, 06470 Ciudad de México, D.F.
7:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.Website

Korakrit Arunanondchai: Dear Chantri,...


A video that examines artist use of technology in the broadest sense possible; from the use of the camera to the building of cities, Arunanondchai sees man as maker and manipulator of nature.

Organized by Franklin Melendez


Obrera Centro

Isabel La Catolica 144
06080 Ciudad de México, D.F.
8:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.Website



This show gets a listing for its show image alone. Nails shaped into a all the tools your fingernails might double as; screw driver heads, paint can openers, telephone cords. (Well, maybe you just unfurl a cord with your fingers.) No press release accompanies this show, but based on the websites we found for these artists we expect vaguely modernist-inpsired work to do with functionalism and futurism.

Artists: Enrique Jezik, Victor Del Moral, Los Vecinos del Ritmo, Tatiana Musi, Keef Winter

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