After returning from Mexico City to grace ZsONA MACO and Material for the first— and far from the last— time, I feel the antithesis of what I felt after Miami Art Week… except for sharing a similar perpetual hangover. This hangover, however, is not one ignited from a sense of visual overload, image capacity, and satellite trek exhaustion, but one born strictly from self-indulgence on premium mescal and tequila. Critically speaking, MACO and Material delivered nothing less than refreshing takes on the too often familiar and redundant ‘art fair’ model circulating in a growing, global market— while simultaneously solidifying expat eyes and interest on the enticing, vibrant creative hub that makes DF abundantly appealing and easy to return to LA saying: ‘ Todo a la chingada! Me regreso a Mexico!’
The international gaze, as does this recap, begins with MACO— the contemporary fair HQ’d in Mexico City since 2004 and premiering in 2002 under the guise MUESTRA in Monterrey. The latter’s quick-fact in-line with note of Founder Zélika García’s Monterrey roots— which makes sense given the majority of social introductions revealed you were from either: a) Monterrey or b) Los Angeles… or c) New York ‘[but] part-time.’
Geography aside, here’s a rundown of 10 standout booths from MACO:
Debora Delmar Corp’s artifacts of a luxury-obsessed waste-culture perfectly cast as Birkin bags at ltd, Los Angeles and as UGGS at DUVE, Berlin.
Well-curated #squad featuring a stand-out corner threesome activated through the coupling of works by Joe Reihsen, Kate Steciw and Amy Feldman at Brand New Gallery.
Traversing the California desert as site of conflict and escape through the multimedia realms of Rhonda Holberton at CULT exhibitions.
Esther Stocker’s monochromatic installation of acrylic on cotton dimensional geometries at Eduardo Secci Contemporary.
A retrospective of more than 20 years of video works capturing the infinite guises adapted by Bjorn Melhus at Y Gallery.
A toilet in the shape of Museo Soumaya— home of mogul Carlos Slim’s collection— glistened as the collaborative product of Yoshua Okón and Santiago Sierra at Parque Galería. Utilizing workmen as props may have aimed to wage each artist’s continued investigations concerning ‘art and labor…’ but mostly seemed to secure this as grappling the most controversial commentary throughout the week… then again, wasn’t that the point?
Master surface-skewer Walead Beshty appeared within the fragmented void of his smashed screen sculptures and Travel Drawings series at Travesía Cuatro. The latter’s matter compiled from the artist’s six-week daily purchase of local tabloid Metro and accompanying request for stream-of-conscious letters from gallery staff describing the magazine’s contents.
Dannielle Tegeder’s translation of 2D drawings into 3D systems and ‘patterns of collision’ at Carrie Secrist Gallery.
Daniel Buren’s op-art-esque MDF, auto paint, and mirrored wall installation at Galería Hilario Galguera.
To conclude a list of stunners, a note on two mega-talents running so rampant throughout, their individual glitter sadly glistened more like litter: Carlos Cruz-Diez and Anish Kapoor. Reflective repeats induce #selfie vertigo not introspection… Really, this every other booth? Please [insert] mirror-spacers!
Moving along to the first satellite to spawn from MACO… enter the third edition of Material Art Fair. Founded by local gallerists Daniela Elbahara and Brett W. Schultz in tandem with consultant Isa Natalia Castilla, Material came into 2016 spawning its own 50% growth featuring over 200 artists represented by 64 exhibitors from 34 cities and 15 countries. (Whoa!). Despite the claustrophobic maze hopefully up for considerable redesign (or at least re-formation) at Expo Reforma (or elsewhere) next year, Material hold promise to be what NADA was and UNTITLED is: an eclectic roster of cool, net-savvy heavy, emerging artists you should pick-up and follow now before they end-up as sell-outs at Art Basel.
To top-off picks from Material, here are 10 favorites:
A surreal marriage of the corporeal came to life at SADE where Finnish multimedia artist Tuomas A. Laitinen’s glass Sensory Adaptation Devices floated between augmented Asger Carlsen prints and paintings by Pablo Carillo and Ariana Papademetropoulos.
Precisely punctured canvases by Conor Backman at Smart Objects.
Danish artist and curator Amalie Jakobsen’s latex architectural grids at Efrain Lopez Gallery.
Strongest curatorial coupling: evolving and maleable sound installation by San Francisco-based James Cordas against tactile wall works by NY-based Anne Vieux at Good Weather.
Plenty to like at Lodos— serving a fly-swarming fruit bowl and WIFI encrypted fortune-cookies by collective Oa4s, with prints by Temra Pavlovich spliced to a T with Noah Barker’s video Thomas Shannon.
Photographic sculptures by Rachel de Joode at Kansas Gallery.
Saturated shapes and construed artifice in the severed planes of Natalia Ibáñez Lario and Ryan Perez at Yautepec— metallic silver Corona chairs adding a perfect breaking point.
Works created from materials localized in DF and reassembled on-site by Santiago Taccetti and Asger Dybvad Larsen at Galerie Rolando Anselmi.
Recent Rema Hort Mann Foundation (RHMF) grantee Nevine Mahmoud at Arturo Bandini’s fair erected white facade mirroring a sliver of their LA outpost HQ.
Pierre Clément’s presentation at XPO dismantled the booth into a modular web resembling something like the tentacular waves of the internet.
Most photos © WOAH