Visual Arts 2015

Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980

Museum of Modern Art

March 29th – July 19th

On the 60th anniversary of its last major survey of modern architecture in Latin America, MoMA returned its focus to the region with Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980. Bringing together for the first time more than 500 original works from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico that had largely never been exhibited, even in their home countries, the exhibition featured architectural drawings, architectural models, vintage photographs, and film clips alongside newly commissioned models and photographs by Brazilian photographer Leonardo Finotti.

Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978

Americas Society

February 11th – May 16th

Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978 examined how design, one of the most innovative chapters in the history of Latin American modernism, transformed the domestic landscape in a period marked by major stylistic developments and social political changes. The exhibition was accompanied by a 200-page hardcover catalogue that included contemporary essays, as well as newly translated historical texts on design.

Photo: Enrique Shore
Photo: Enrique Shore
Tania Pérez Córdova and José León Cerrillo at 2015 Triennial at the New Museum: Surround Audience

The New Museum

Feb 25th – May 24th

A signature initiative of the New Museum, the Triennial provides an important platform for an emergent generation of artists that is shaping the discourse of contemporary art. The Triennial’s predictive, rather than retrospective, model embodies the institution’s thirty-seven-year commitment to exploring the future of culture through the art of today. This year, two Mexican artists participated in the exhibit: Tania Pérez Córdova and José León Cerrillo.

José León Cerrillo. "The New Psychology. Series", 2015. Site-specific installation. Variables dimensions Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Benoit Pailley
Tania Pérez Córdoba. Meeting a Stranger, Afternoon, Cafes, 2014. Fired terracotta and borrowed SIM Card. 23 3/5 x 17 7/10 x 1 in. Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Benoit Pailley


Candela's Shells: The Reinforced Concrete Shells of Architect Félix Candela

Octavio Paz Gallery at Consulate General of Mexico in New York

March 25th - November 15th

Photos: Roberto Campos-Ruiz - The Mexican Cultural Institute New York

“Candela’s Shells” was an excerpt of the great exhibition “Félix Candela 1910-2010”, produced by AC/E Acción Cultural Española to commemorate the 100 anniversary of this structural design genius. The exhibition looked back into architect Félix Candela’s personal and professional trail, and it was intended to assess his legacy.

Pía Camil at Frieze New York

Randall's Island Park

May 14th - May 17th

Mexican designer Pia Camil conceived a project that functioned as a portable environment. Inspired by Hélio Oiticica’s Parangolé – a series of capes, flags and banners made to be worn as ‘habitable paintings’ – Camil’s project consisted of a series of wearable fabrics distributed freely to the fair’s visitors. Camil’s pieces of fabric were designed to allow for various versatile uses including clothing – such as robes or ponchos – and more utilitarian functions – such as picnic blankets, table cloths and sheets. Disseminated within the context of the fair, Camil’s fabric pieces required the direct participation of the viewers, quietly emphasizing one of the main characteristics of the experience of art fairs, where the act of looking at art is often as important as the act of looking at others and distinguishing oneself from them.

Photo: Kate Shanley
Photo: Kate Shanley
Mexican muralist Diego Rivera at work on the Rockefeller Center mural
Destroying Radical Icons: Mexican Muralism and the New York Left

Grey Art Gallery

February 27th

Moderated by Edward J. Sullivan, this symposium included a gallery conversation by Julia Pelta Feldman, Graduate Curatorial Assistant at the Grey Art Gallery, and two panel discussions. Panel 1 speakers included Finbarr Barry Flood (NYU), Joanne Pillsbury (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Jodi Roberts (Museum of Modern Art), and James Wechsler, Consultant, Boris Lurie Foundation. Panel 2 speakers included Pedro Diego Alvarado, artist and Diego Rivera’s grandson; Anna Indych-Lopez, Associate Professor and Chair of Art History, City College of New York; and Susana Pliego, author of Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera’s Mural at Rockefeller Center (Trilce, 2013).

Abraham Cruzvillegas
Repetition and Difference, with Abraham Cruzvillegas

Jewish Museum

Mar 13th - Aug 9th

Repetition and Difference explored these concepts through over 350 historic objects from the collection and recent works by contemporary artists, demonstrating how subtle disruptions in form, color, or design can reveal intriguing information about their creation and meaning. Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, as well as Koo Jeong A and Amalia Pica presented installations utilizing repetition of common materials to emphasize important variations which only become evident by their accumulation. The ephemeral items, like newspaper clippings, photographs, and drawings, assembled by Abraham Cruzvillegas, were painted a uniform color and mounted to the wall—rendering them indistinguishable from each other and evoking the ad-hoc construction of residential spaces in the artist’s native Mexico City.

Photos: David Heald. Left: Abraham Cruzvillegas, detail of “Blind Self-Portrait” attempting to mimic Israel Galván’s face, imagining a possible musical link between Daft Punk’s “One More Time”
Spring/Break Art Show

Moynihan Station

Mar 3rd – 8th

This year's theme of The Spring/Break Art Show, Transaction, referred to the notion of implicit and underlying exchange, from technological and fiscal to emotional and ideological. Mexican artists Alva Cal y Mayor, Livia Corona, Federico del Nazas, Adriana Lara, Aurora Pellozi and Natalia Porter presented their most recent work.

The Architectural League of New York 2015

March 5th

Scholastic Auditorium

Each year the League selects eight emerging practitioners through a juried, invited portfolio competition. The Emerging Voices award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism. The annual Emerging Voices lecture series featured Gabriela Etchegaray and Jorge Ambrosi, Manuel Cervantes Céspedes, of Manuel Céspedes, and Alejandro Guerrero and Andrea Soto.

  • With a belief that there is “strength to be found in silence,” AMBROSI | ETCHEGARAY designs in harmony with nature and with continuity between the past and present. Gabriela Etchegaray and Jorge Ambrosi founded their Mexico City-based firm in 2011. Particularly adept at the control and manipulation of light and shadows, they pair natural and machine-made materials in elegant form-making.
  • Drawing from a heritage of Mexican modernism and characterized by “knowing when to stop,” MANUEL CERVANTES CESPEDES / CC ARQUITECTOS designs buildings with structural clarity and elemental forms. Founded by Manuel Cervantes Cespedes in Mexico City in 2005, the firm finds opportunity in constraints — regulatory, economic, programmatic — and develops projects with consideration for “minimizing complexity.”
  • ATELIER ARSº draws on historical references, architectural precedents, and traditional building techniques, believing “a good building [is] a record of a relevant tradition.” Founded in 2000 and led by principals Alejandro Guerrero and Andrea Soto, the Guadalajara-based firm combines a reconsideration of modernism with a deep appreciation for local craftsmanship.
Kykuit Residence: Paola Ruisanchez and Mariana Palomino.

The Rockefeller Estate

May 18th

Every year, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund extends an invitation from one student from Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía (ENCRyM) and one student from Escuela de Conservación y Restauración de Occidente (ECRO) to a three week residence at Kykuit, the Rockefeller Residency at Sleepy Hollow, New York. During this time, participants work in the restoration of the select Rockefeller collection artworks under professional guidance. This year’s students were Paola Ruisanchez and Mariana Palomino.

Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico
Marcel Breuer House at Pocantico
Architecture in Mexico 1900-2010 by Fernanda Canales

Museum of Modern Art

May 21st

Candida Fernández de Calderón, Director of Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C. and Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Bérain, Consul General of Mexico in New York, hosted the book presentation of Architecture in Mexico 1900-2010 with author Fernanda Canales. A cocktail reception followed the presentation. The presentation was preceded by a private viewing of the exhibition Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980, with Barry Bergdoll, Curator, And Patricio del Real, Curatorial Assistant, from the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art.

Jenny Holzer Projections for Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

The New York Botanical Garden

Jun 10th – Jun 13th

For four consecutive nights, internationally renowned artist Jenny Holzer, The New York Botanical Garden, and the Poetry Society of America presented a program of scrolling light projections at the Botanical Garden’s iconic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Each evening, waves of poetry sweeped over the landmark building and enveloped the glass walls housing the heart of the Botanical Garden’s blockbuster exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life. Holzer’s hour-long presentation included poems by Mexico’s Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz, verses from contemporary Mexican female poets, and a selection of powerful passages from Frida Kahlo’s own diary.

"In the Garden", 2015. Light projection. Text: “The Religious Fig” by Octavio Paz, translated by Eliot Weinberger, from The Collected Poems 1957–1987 © 1986 by Octavio Paz and Eliot Weinberger. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. From “Three Lacustrine Scenes” by Pura López Colomé, translation by Forrest Gander, from Watchword, © 2012 by Pura López Colomé and Forrest Gander. Published by Wesleyan University Press. Used with permission. © 2015 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY Photo: Ben Hider
Photo: N. Kubota
Path of Knowledge, by Alejandro Pintado

Octavio Paz Gallery

June 29th

Renowned Mexican artist Alejandro Pintado was joined in conversation by Pablo León de la Barra, curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for the Latin American phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, for the presentation of Path of Knowledge. There was a lecture focusing on the creative process behind the production of artwork.

Teresa Margolles: We Have a Common Thread

Neuberger Museum of Art

July 12th - October 11th

The exhibit “Teresa Margolles: We Have a Common Thread” expanded on the artist’s long exploration of violence through a series of new works involving the unprecedented participation of artist-embroiderers from Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, all of whom share her concerns about violence, particularly against women. After explaining her vision for the project, Margolles provided each group with a fabric that had been marked through contact with the body of a woman, or in some cases a man, who had suffered a violent death. She invited the embroiderers to create patterns on the fabric as a way to trigger a conversation about the violence and social problems plaguing their respective communities.

Photos: Patrice Giasson.
Historias del paraíso: Dulce Pinzón in Photoville

Brooklyn Bridge Park

September 10th - September 15th

Housed inside (and out) of repurposed shipping containers, Photoville 2015 presented more than 60 photo exhibitions & outdoor installations in partnership with a carefully selected group of programming partners from around the globe. With her installation Historias del Paraíso, Dulce Pinzón aimed to sensitize the audience into caring for the planet and reflecting on the world that we shall leave behind to future generations. Through the conventions of staged photography she presented a series of images based on the cycle of life.

Photo: Roberto Campos-Ruiz
Photo courtesy of Dulce Pinzón
Photo courtesy of Photoville
Exhibition: Venegas and Venegas

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York

October 27th

Venegas and Venegas was an exhibition by Mexican photographers Yvonne Venegas and Jose Luis Venegas. The exhibition was part of Celebrate Mexico Now Festival, a citywide celebration of the art and culture of Mexico. Yvonne Venegas’s first solo show in New York, it included a selection from three of her projects that deal with class, aspiration, and the rituals and lifestyles of upper income communities in Tijuana and San Pedro, Monterrey. Juxtaposed with this work there were 1970’s photographs from the archive of her father, Jose Luis Venegas, a wedding and event photographer in Tijuana.

Photos courtesy of the artist
Exhibition: The Light is Strong Like the Women of Chiapas

The Lower East Side Girls Club

November 13th

The show featured the legendary and rarely-exhibited photography of Gertrude Duby Blom and Marcey Jacobson along with contemporary Maya photographers Margarita Perez and Maruch Santiz Gomez and their teen photography students at Club Balam (Chiapas, Mexico).

Photos: Roberto Campos-Ruiz and Gastón Melo
Exhibition view
Indomitable: Contemporary Photography from Chiapas

Octavio Paz Gallery at Consulate General of Mexico in New York

November 18th

This exhibition presented an overview of Chiapas’ contemporary photography through images captured by young artists in search of new paths and answers. Far from attempting a “style from Chiapas”, the selection showed an array of diverse personal styles. Indomitable was a declaration: “We are here and this is our world: diverse, unlimited and uncontainable, indomitable”.

Exhibition opening
Visual Arts 2015
Created By
The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York RC


The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York

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