MACO, Material, and Aurora
By Margaret Failoni
The first weekend of February turned out to be a feast for lovers of art. Mexico City hosted the ever more successful international art fair MACO and simultaneously the Material Art Fair, its satellite for emerging artists. Meanwhile, in San Miguel de Allende, the renowned Aurora Art & Design Center celebrated 12 years of excellence.
Perhaps due to the favorable exchange from the dollar and Euro, and the fact that wealthy Mexicans have been vying with art collectors from all over the world, this combination has resulted in some very interesting displays of excellence in the Mexican art world. Starting with MACO, this year’s fair brought some of the world’s major dealers, such as really important galleries from Italy: Lia Rumma, Cardi, and the Galleria Continua. Germany was present with many galleries, such as the outstanding Michael Fuchs Gallery and Michael Sturm.
The American and British superstar galleries were present with blockbuster presentations from Gagosian, Barbara Gladstone, and David Zwirner. Major galleries from France, Holland, Brazil, Argentina, and more were interspersed with the best galleries Mexico has to offer. What remained in my mind as outstanding was the Soumaya/toilet installation in the New Proposals section, a very well done, hilarious spoof by talented Yoshua Okon and Andrea Geyer in Parque Galería’s booth, and the wonderful works by Ana Quiroz in the Yam Gallery. The Lisson gallery had fabulous Anish Kapoor works, a spectacular white marble by Ai Weiwei, and two broken mirror pieces by the fascinating Pistoletto. The Cardi Gallery had a fabulous booth with Fontanas, Kounellis, and Pistoletto. Perhaps the most impressive was the Ilario Galguera Gallery, with a huge, stunning installation by Daniel Buren and a five-meter-long magnificent oil painting by James Brown. All in all, it was the best MACO to date. The satellite Material Art Fair was disappointing, as were its first two years; there was really bad art, with one or two exceptions.
Rushing back to San Miguel for the Art Walk and the twelfth anniversary of the Aurora Art & Design Center was well worth the trouble. The galleries all showed some really good art. The Interseccion Gallery opened with a Lothar Müller exhibition of paintings reminiscent of the Katz and Hockney years of the ’80s and ’90s. The invitation painting was especially worth seeing. New resins by Francisco Esnayra were attention-getters, as were the paintings in the hallway by Yui Sakamoto. Merry Calderoni opened with a beautiful series of the revolution paintings, and Keith Miller presented his latest exquisite work at the Gleason Gallery. Skot Foreman always puts on a beautifully hung show of works by the who’s who of 20th century art. Espacio Carral had colorful floral paintings beautifully reminiscent of the French impressionists, and the exhibitors in the Aurora did a wonderful job of presenting excellent work. It was a truly great weekend for art lovers.