5 Must-See Exhibitions During Mexico City Art Week 2024 | Feature

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/features/5-must-see-exhibitions-mexico-city-art-week/

Mexico City Art Week sees the return of Latin America’s largest art fair, Zona Maco, from 7 to 11 February. Coinciding must-see shows include Beatriz González’s portraits of postwar Colombia at MUAC, Kosovar artist Petrit Halilaj’s meditations on migration at Museo Tamayo, and Gabriel Orozco’s sketches at Kurimanzutto.

Exhibition view: Beatriz González, War and Peace: A Poetics of Gesture, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City (25 November 2023–30 June 2024). Photo: Oliver Santana.

Exhibition view: Beatriz González, War and Peace: A Poetics of Gesture, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City (25 November 2023–30 June 2024). Photo: Oliver Santana.

Beatriz González: War and Peace: A Poetics of Gesture
MUAC, Insurgentes Sur 3000
25 November 2023–30 June 2024

Expect: new perspectives on the Pop-affiliated veteran painter, who used portraiture to convey struggle and suffering in postwar Colombia.

Beatriz González painted in the aftermath of La Violencia, Colombia’s brutal civil war that lasted from 1948 to 1958. She explores how images become decontextualised, drawing from news media and advertisements and transferring them to canvas and store-bought furniture. Many of her portraits recreate Biblical or political scenes, where colours clash and fade, and the contours of faces dissolve like memories.

One of her earliest works, a series entitled ‘The Suicides of Sisga (I, II, and III)’ (1965), derived its subject from a photographic portrait of a couple who took their own lives. The image, which circulated in national newspapers, drew the artist’s attention for its ‘bad quality’ and plainness, driving her to replicate its composition in paint.

While celebrated by some as one of South America’s first Pop artists, González herself did not identify with the label. ‘Mine was a provincial type of art without horizons, confronting the everyday,’ she explained to Tate in 2015.

Exhibition view: Petrit Halilaj, RUNIK, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (23 November 2023–7 April 2024).

Exhibition view: Petrit Halilaj, RUNIK, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (23 November 2023–7 April 2024). Courtesy Museo Tamayo. Photo: Gerardo Landa and Eduardo López (GLR Estudio).

Petrit Halilaj: RUNIK
Museo Tamayo, Paseo de la Reforma 51
23 November 2023–7 April 2024

Expect: a continuation of the Kosovar artist’s inquiry into art-making as a way to confront experiences of violence, displacement, and homeland.

Petrit Halilaj presents his first solo show in Latin America, building on the narratives, history, and memories of his native Kosovo. Halilaj was displaced with his family at age 13, and first tried his hand at drawing while staying at a refugee camp in Albania as a way to process war trauma.

RUNIK explores ideas of migration and belonging, centring a scaled model of the house Halilaj and his family built in Kosovo’s capital Pristina. The structure is modelled after their old home in Runik, which was destroyed in the Kosovo War of 1998 to 1999.

At Museo Tamayo, Halilaj has inscribed a chicken—a recurring motif in his work—onto a life-size Boeing aircraft operated by Aeroméxico. For Halilaj, art-making is a means to travel while developing a better understanding of the histories of his homeland and identity.

Gabriel Orozco, Untitled (2024) (detail).

Gabriel Orozco, Untitled (2024) (detail). Courtesy the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City/New York. Photo: Gerardo Landa/Eduardo Lópex (GLR estudio).

Gabriel Orozco: Circular Identity
Kurimanzutto, Gobernador Rafael Rebollar 94
10 February–23 March 2024

Expect: lesser-seen works including notebook sketches, tempera paintings, and stone sculptures, inspired by landscape and the natural environment.

Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco is best known for his conceptual interventions using found objects. His Empty Shoe Box (1993) at the 1993 Venice Biennale, for instance, was mistaken by visitors for trash and a donations container, eventually gracing MoMA and Tate Modern. At Zona Maco in 2017, Orozco transformed Kurimanzutto’s booth into a convenience store with its own currency. Visitors could exchange fake bills collaging U.S. and Mexican currencies for goods such as eggs, sanitary pads, and cigarettes.

Orozco’s present exhibition begins with drawings from ‘Diario de Plantas’ [Diary of Plants], a journal started in Tokyo during the Covid-19 pandemic. He continued to fill its pages in Acapulco and Mexico City, as he worked on a large-scale renovation project at Chapultepec Park.

Further works on view include stone sculptures from Orozco’s ‘Dés’ series, made using volcanic rock and marble from Mexico, and paintings merging Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing with environmental elements.

Eduardo Sarabia, Eclipse Dreaming (2023). Handmade wool tapestry. 190 x 163 cm.

Eduardo Sarabia, Eclipse Dreaming (2023). Handmade wool tapestry. 190 x 163 cm. Courtesy OMR.

Eduardo Sarabia: Four Minutes of Darkness
OMR, Córdoba 100, Roma Norte
6 February–26 March 2024

Expect: dual exhibitions centring the upcoming solar eclipse, which will be visible across Mexico City, as a metaphor for imaginative powers and predictions.

Eduardo Sarabia’s first solo exhibition with OMR explores the phenomenon of the solar eclipse—notably, the one casting over Mazatlán, Sinaloa, for four minutes on 8 April.

At OMR, Sarabia has created a chapel-like structure with a stained-glass ceiling, sharing his interest in ancestral, alchemical, and mystical knowledge forms. A surrounding garden, conceived as an immersive environment, hosts a fountain that lights up amid darkness.

The project continues in Sinaloa in April, where the artist’s family originates. Eclipse at Museo de Arte de Mazatlán follows the institution’s renovation in collaboration with local baseball team Los Venados, and will include a public viewing of the eclipse from the Los Venados stadium.

Exhibition view: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, With the South on My Back, Galerie Nordenhake, Mexico City (20 January–17 February 2024).

Exhibition view: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, With the South on My Back, Galerie Nordenhake, Mexico City (20 January–17 February 2024). Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa: With the South on My Back
Galerie Nordenhake, Monterrey 65, Roma Norte
20 January–17 February 2024

Expect: paintings that reimagine Mayan murals to address present-day crises across Latin America.

Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa works across mediums to reinterpret events in Latin America, including the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–1996). More than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared during the conflict, 83 percent of whom were Indigenous Maya, according to a United Nations-sponsored commission.

For his first exhibition with Galerie Nordenhake, the artist presents work conceived after a trip to the archaeological site of Cacaxtla in Mexico, where murals exist as rare records of exchange between Mayan and Mexican cultures.

In the ‘Study of the Cacaxtla Murals’ series (2024), Ramírez-Figueroa reinterprets the Cacaxtla Mural of the Battle (600–750 AD), which depicts a sacrifice in honour of the corn god Xólotl. Shields from the original illustration are replaced with children with backpacks, alluding to present-day emigration as a consequence of ongoing violence and economic crises affecting many countries in the region.

‘My basic intention is to make memory public, but to do it from a different aesthetic, where there is an important visual presence,’ the artist has said. —[O]

Source Credit:  Content and images from Ocula Magazine.  Read the original article - https://ocula.com/magazine/features/5-must-see-exhibitions-mexico-city-art-week/