The Manuel Chacon Gallery
By Margaret Failoni
As much as I have a preference for clean, sparse exhibition spaces, I must admit that I find the bazaar-like atmosphere of the Manuel Chacon Gallery a serious dent in my armor. The only explanation I can find is the fact that there is so much good art surrounding the visitor from the moment one enters. The gallery is divided into two separate spaces. The first, as one enters, exhibits art by the many artists with whom the gallery works. The second is designated for that paricular month’s exhibition. The two spaces are connected by the office and a beautiful collection of jewelry designed by Chacon himself. The main entrance to the gallery is now showing works by a group of diverse and interesting creators. There are paintings by Alan Segal, which are exquisitely executed and unlike the brazen color field works I last saw in his Bellas Artes exhibition several years ago. This time, Segal has chosen an almost all black and white palette with strange and sensuous interpretations of nature. Beautiful work.
On a nearby wall are the latest works by Ron Mallory. I have been far more familiar with Mallory’s extraordinary mercury abstractions in the Museum of Modern Art so many years ago and was unprepared for this new metamorphosis into the figurative world of nature and, I must say, he succeeds beautifully. These works are also in a sort of dreamy black and white color scheme.
On the opposite wall are the large, bold abstract works on paper by the Chilean artist Maria Inez Rivera, which were so successful during her one-person exhibition a few months ago. Not many are left.
In the center of this space are the superb sculptures in cedar and fresno woods by Gerard Gendron.
The area of the gallery closest to the office has exquisite works on paper by the renowned Oaxacan artist Sergio Hernandez and just opposite some very good works by the youngest of the artists in the gallery, the 29-year-old artist from Mexico Cty, Enrique Guillen. Guillen’s muse is the city itself, with the uncanny ability to capture the hum of the vibrating capital. There is one small, particular jewel by this very gifted young man; a small canvas depicting a rain-soaked patch of the Zócalo, the city’s main square, with the silhouette of the Metropoltan Cathedral in the background.
As I write, these are the closing days on the Ignazio Maldonado show in large exhibition space. For the occasion, Maldonado has broken away from his usual, magnificently depicted landscapes painted in the large, expressionistic picture planes, to present us with a small diary of a recent visit to some of Mexico’s most popular beach resorts.
The Manuel Chacon Gallery never disappoints and is definitely one of San Miguel’s favorite meeting places for excellent art.