Discover Mexico City’s Thriving Art Scene
The Mexican capital's anticipated art week boasts an impressive lineup of art both local and international
Mexico City is on fire—not literally of course, but certainly from a cultural point of view. Home to a great group of galleries exhibiting contemporary art and—reportedly—more art museums than any other city worldwide, Mexico’s capital, known as CDMX, is now witnessing an exciting growth in galleries from other countries.
Mexico City Art Week 2024 (February 7-11) is centered around the city’s three art and design fairs. ZONAMACO celebrates its 20th edition this year with 140 exhibitors in the art section—ranging from international galleries like Pace, Kasmin, Grimm and Galeria Continua to CDMX’s Galería Hilario Galguera, Labor, Proyecto Monclova, Galería RGR and Travesía Cuatro in the main section and such galleries as Spencer Brownstone, N.A.S.A.L, Red Arrow and 193 Gallery in the emerging sector, as well as many more exhibitors in the photo, design, and antiques parts of the expansive fair. The 10th edition of Feria Material offers 72 international exhibitors, including CDMX’s Campeche, San Juan’s Embajada, and Tokyo’s Tomio Koyama Gallery, while the 11th edition of Salón ACME, an art platform created by artists for artists, presents open call and curated selections at the historical Proyecto Público Prim.
During Art Week, CDMX’s established galleries present the best artists from their rosters while also introducing emerging artists that have caught their eyes. One of the oldest contemporary art galleries, OMR is presenting Los Angeles-based Eduardo Sarabia’s first solo show—featuring sculptures, ceramics, paintings, stained glass and tapestry referencing a total eclipse of the sun—since he joined the gallery last March, while kurimanzutto, one of the city’s most internationally recognized galleries, offers new paintings, drawings and sculptures inspired by nature and artifacts observed in moments of travel and life in the star artists first one-person exhibition at the gallery in seven years.
Enrique Guerrero, the president of the Mexican Art Gallery Association (GAMA), is presenting an overview of modern and contemporary art photography at his 25-year-old gallery—ranging from pictures by Frida Kahlo’s father, Guillermo, to Francis Alÿs, a Belgian artist who has been living and working in the city since 1986. MAIA Contemporary, which opened in 2017, is exhibiting new paintings by Mexican artist Marcos Castro that imagine what someone might be seeing while looking out the window of a burning house. Meanwhile, Saenger Galería, which was founded by art collector Bernardo Saenger in 2019, has visionary landscapes by nomadic Mexican artist Yoab Vera on view.
With the city’s collector base on the rise, international artists moving to the city for cheaper studio space and lower production costs and the city’s art fairs attracting visitors and buyers worldwide, it’s no wonder that CDMX is becoming a hot spot for new galleries opened by foreign dealers.
Galerie Nordenhake, from Stockholm and Berlin, opened a Mexico City branch in 2018 and moved to a bigger space in 2020, where it’s currently showing paintings and sculptures inspired by pre-Columbian murals from an archeological site by Guatemalan artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa. Los Angeles’ Morán Morán opened its second space in 2021 in a 1938 mansion with a 40-ft high stained-glass window, where its showing Mexican interdisciplinary artist Raúl de Nieves, who moved to CDMX from New York to make mystical works inspired by Mexico’s colorful marketplaces for his first solo show with the gallery.
Mariane Ibrahim, with galleries in Chicago and Paris, is presenting expressive finger-painted portraits, mosaics and stained-glass works by the popular Ghanian artist Amoako Boafo in its CDMX space, which it opened in 2023 in a strikingly renovated old building. In the same year, New York’s Deli Gallery, which has participated in Feria Material for the past five years, opened a chic space in the city, where its exhibiting figurative paintings of Futanari (mixed sex) anime characters by London-based Japanese artist Motoko Ishibashi and collaborative ceramics with Robin von Einsiedel, and Naranjo 141, opened by former Sotheby’s specialists Ashley Noyes and Bryce Smith, secured an artist’s home and studio to create a stylish gallery and art residency, where it’s offering new figurative paintings by Anna Kenneally and Lizzy Lunday and ceramics by Dani Moreno, while Justin Chance is making new work in the studio.
New to the city this year is König Mexico City, a partnership between Berlin gallerist Johann König and German art collector Corina Krawinkel, who bought a house in the Condesa neighborhood that she divided between living and exhibiting art. The premiere presentation is a group show of international artists (including Jeppe Hein, Robert Zanitz and Emily Weiner, who will have a solo show at the gallery in September) responding to Surrealism, a movement that was particularly popular in Mexico in the 1940 and ‘50s.
There are also a few special exhibitions opening this week. Kasmin, which has two spaces in New York, is presenting a solo show of emblematic paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Theodora Allen at Casa Siza, a gallery and residence designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza. New York’s Luhring Augustine is showing eight of its artists (including Sarah Crowner, Ragnar Kjartansson, who has a survey at the Museo Tamayo, and Salman Toor) in dialogue with six designers (including Ewe Studio and Héctor Zamora) from MASA in the latter’s smart CDMX space. And Milan design gallery Nilufar is introducing its Open Edition furniture creations (including Analogia Project and david/Nicolas), together with rug company cc-tapis, in a showcase conceived by design retailer Studio 84 and staged at the spectacular home of the late Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vàzquez.
Continuing the focus on design, Unique Design X Group, founded by Morgan Morris Sans as a platform dedicated exclusively to collectible design, is launching Unique Design X Mexico City with 23 participating galleries and studios from the United States, Mexico, Europe and Middle East. Unique Design also has a program of events and activations unfolding both at the fair and across the city’s rich cultural landscape, including the presentation of a goldleaf sculptural skate board ramp, designed by Mexican artist Stefan Brüggemann for the Skate-Able Object Park at the legendary Monumento a la Revolución.
Opened in 2022 by OMR, LagoAlgo, a space for sharing culture, gastronomy and wellness in Chapultepec Park, is presenting Capítulo V: Heat, focused on the ecological, social and political implications of combustion and curated by creative director Jérôme Sans, with artists Julian Charrière, Ebecho Muslimova, Ana Montiel, and the collective Artists Against the Bomb. Casa Wabi Sabino, which opened a year ago, offers solo shows by Mexican artist Adrián S. Bará and Monaco-born sculptor Adeline de Monseignat, alongside multiple floors exhibiting paintings and sculptures by Mexican superstar artist Bosco Sodi, Casa Wabi Sabino’s founder.
For those willing to travel beyond Mexico City, the original Casa Wabi in Oaxaco, is featuring a solo show of artworks made from construction debris collected from the region by Mexican artist Jose Dávila. Nearby, Meridiano, a sublime new art space founded by Kasmin president Nicholas Olney and Axel Vervoordt Gallery partner Boris Vervoordt on the principles of dialogue and exchange, is exhibiting four new minimalist bronze sculptures created specifically for the site by Joel Shapiro.