The art guide published for Zona Maco, Mexico City’s annual art fair, lists 30 commercial galleries in the capital. I picked my three favourites that should be included in any gallery crawl. Expect architecturally outstanding, plant-filled, airy spaces far beyond the sterile white cube. I also added some of my favourite restaurants and taco stands that will keep you going for a long art tour in this incredible city.
One of the more recent additions to the capital’s gallery scene is joségarcía ,mx. Founded in 2015 by José García Torres, former director and founder of Proyectos Monclova, this gallery has something very unique to it. Rather than having a vast, white space, it consists of several conjunct rooms that allow artworks to be exhibited in three different spaces. joségarcía ,mx is situated in the up and coming Ribera neighborhood, a short Uber ride from Roma or Condesa. Among others, the gallery represents the Mexican artist Eduardo Sarabia, Danish Marie Lund and German Christian Jankowski. There is a second outpost in downtown Mérida, Yucatán – a 200-square-metre space surrounded by high walls with no ceiling or stable flooring, so that all the natural elements come into play. Definitely on my list for my next Mexico trip.
Calle Sabino #276, Sta. Maria de la Ribera
Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 11am–4pm
Galería OMR has been around for a while. Founded in 1983 by Patricia Ortiz Monasterio and Jaime Riestra and now run by the founder’s son Cristobal Riestra, it has been a major influence on the arts in Mexico over more than 30 years. In 2016, the gallery moved to a new location in Roma Norte, a mid-century brutalist building in Calle Cordoba that used to be a record store. Architects Mateo Riestra, José Arnaud-Bello and Max von Werz converted it into a 450-square-metre gallery space featuring a plant-filled courtyard and a roof-top on which occasionally a bar opens. This building is so beautiful that it almost distracts you from the art on show. The gallery represents both emerging and and established contemporary artists, among them James Turrell and Jose Davila.
Calle Cordoba 100, Col Roma
Tuesday to Thursday 10am to 7pm, Friday 10am–4pm , Saturday 11am–4pm
Kurimanzutto was founded by Mónica Manzutto, José Kuri and Gabriel Orozcon in the 1990s after they identified a lack of institutional support for young Mexican artists. Emerging from unconventional pop-up venues ranging from Mexico City’s International Airport to a supermarket parking lot, they acquired their current gallery space at 94 Rafael Rebollar Street ten years ago. Built in 1949, it had previously housed a lumberyard and an industrial bakery. Mexican architect Alberto Kalach designed and oversaw the building’s renovation, converting it into an vast, partially open space that incorporates plants and natural light. Today, the gallery represents 34 national and international artists, among them Danh Vo, Anri Sala, Damián Ortega, Gabriel Kuri and Sarah Lucas. Kurimanzutto regularly does guided exhibition tours (for free). Check their Instagram account for updates.
Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94, San Miguel Chapultepec
Tuesday to Thursday 11am to 4pm, Friday and Saturday, 11am–6pm
Museo Jumex is a very slick but beautiful David Chipperfield building that was the architect’s first commission in Latin America. It houses the contemporary art collection of the owner of a Mexican fruit-juice empire.
An absolute highlight is Museo Rufino Tamayo, located in the Chapultepec Park. It was founded by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo and opened in 1981 to the public. As often in Mexican architecture, the borders between inside and outside, between building and nature are fluent. A magical place.
My Favourite Spots
Hotel Condesa DF (Condesa) – Beautiful hotel, very nice rooftop bar for drinks.
Contramar (Condesa) – Seafood spot in Colonia Condesa. As many restaurants in the city, this place is only open during the day. It is most fun when it’s the busiest around 3pm. Try the tuna tostadas.
Birria Estilo Jalisco Taco Stand (Roma) – I know there are a lot but this one is my favourite taco stand in Mexico City. Birria is a spicy stew made from goat meat. You have the consomé first and the meaty tacos after.
Lardo (Condesa) – An Italian restaurant, great for breakfast. There is a big open air food market next to it on Tuesdays.
Pujol (Polanco) – More an experience than a restaurant. Since Enrique Olvera appeared in Netflix’s Chef’s Table, this one is far from being an insider tip. Make sure to book weeks, even month in advance. And yes, the ‘Mole Madre’ is amazing.
Neveria Roxy (Condesa) – Best ice cream (and sorbet) place in town. Around since 1946 and hasn’t changed a bit. Try the tamarind sorbet.