¡Arte Qué Rico! Mexico City’s Material Art Fair Debuts Big Names for 2020

Material Art Fair
Dec 9, 2019 4:08PM

Image courtesy Material Art Fair

  • Material Art Fair returns to Mexico City’s Frontón México to celebrate its 7th edition from February 7th – 9th, 2020, with an expected attendance of 20,000 visitors
  • The lineup features 78 galleries from 21 countries and 37 cities, its largest to date
  • Mexico City galleries kurimanzutto and OMR will participate for the first time, as will The Serpentine Galleries and Whitechapel from London
  • Immaterial, Material’s groundbreaking performance program, will be joined by Listening Material, a new program dedicated to live, sound-based performance

Material Art Fair will celebrate its seventh edition from February 7th through 9th, 2020, during Mexico City’s Semana del Arte (Art Week), with an expected attendance of 20,000 visitors. The fair will be held for a third occasion at the beloved Frontón México, an Art Deco-era sporting arena located directly alongside the breathtaking Monument to the Revolution, in the heart of Mexico’s capital.

Independently owned and operated in Mexico City since 2014, Material is now a reference point for art fairs in Latin America. Relentlessly innovative, Material is an experiential and experimental platform for contemporary art and ideas.

The fair’s 2020 Selection Committee — featuring the galleries LABOR, Mexico City; Emanuel Layr, Vienna / Rome; Instituto de Visión, Bogotá; and Lulu, Mexico City — evaluated a record number of applications received from over 30 countries across five continents, a clear indication of Material's international prestige.

As a result of the committee's careful and exhaustive review process, Material is overjoyed to announce its largest lineup to date, featuring 78 galleries from 21 countries and 37 cities.

Of those, an impressive 25% of Material's exhibitors are based in Mexico, offering an unparalleled opportunity for collectors, curators and art enthusiasts to engage with one of the world's most vibrant and consistently interesting contemporary art scenes. This group includes the return of several of Mexico's most relevant galleries to the fair's Principal section, like LABOR, joségarcía ,mx, Lodos, Agustina Ferreyra, and Lulu. In the Projects section, there will be exciting new discoveries like Salón Silicón, rivera, NERI|Barranco, Casa Equis, Lagos, and Janet40 from Mexico City, as well as Deslave from Tijuana and Galería MUY from the state of Chiapas, with its focus on indigenous contemporary art.

For the first time, Mexican powerhouse galleries kurimanzutto and OMR will also be participating in Material — in parallel to their presentations in the city’s other fairs — taking advantage of Material's unique platform to highlight a single artist's practice. In this case, kurimanzutto will present Mexico's most widely renowned and critically important contemporary artist, Gabriel Orozco. OMR will present the extraordinarily talented, French-born, Mexico City-based artist, Yann Gerstberger, whose participation is made all the more meaningful because his individual exhibition in the premier edition of Material was also his first significant market breakthrough.

Also making a debut appearance at Material is the legendary gallery, China Art Objects, formerly based in Los Angeles but recently relocated to Mérida, where they join a fast-growing new contemporary art scene in the Yucatán capital. They will be presenting works by Jorge Pardo, Pae White and Frances Stark.

Among the international exhibitor debuts, Material is honored to announce the participation of two of London's most important non-profit art institutions: The Serpentine Galleries and Whitechapel. They will collaboratively present editioned works by acclaimed artists, including Pierre Huyghe, Luchita Hurtado, Carlos Bunga, Alex Katz, Matthew Barney, Pawel Althamer, Amalia Pica, and Raymond Pettibon.

Other first-time international exhibitors include hunt kastner, Prague; High Art, Paris; Simone Subal, New York; Crisis, Lima; Misako & Rosen, Tokyo; Piktogram, Warsaw; Art : Concept, Paris; and Union Pacific, London, among many others.

Returning international exhibitors include Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm / Paris; T H E P I L L ®, Istanbul; SKETCH, Bogotá; Emanuel Layr, Vienna / Rome; Lyles & King, New York City; Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo; PIEDRAS, Buenos Aires; and EMBAJADA, San Juan. Also returning is Chez Mohamed from Asnières-Sur-Seine, France, winners of last year’s award for Best Project.

A number of international galleries will be presenting Mexican artists this year, including ELASTIC from Stockholm, with Rodolfo Díaz Cervantes; Syndicate, Los Angeles, with Débora Delmar; Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York City, with María Fragoso; and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, with Carmen Argote and Ana Roldán.

Material's Partner and Exhibitor Liaison, Rodrigo Feliz, comments, "We've added some very impressive names to our lineup this year. It's a testament to Material’s growing prestige internationally, as well as the hard work our team has put into building such a unique fair."

For 2020, Material is relaunching its VIP program as Invited, dedicating the entirety of Thursday, February 6th to its Invited Guests. With this new approach, the fair’s organizers aim to reaffirm their responsibility, as hosts, to create exceptional and unforgettable experiences for the attendees whose professional lives and personal passions allow both commercial and non-commercial initiatives in contemporary art to flourish.

Isa Castilla, Partner and Director of Invited, notes: “Invited is a program which emphasizes a shared sense of responsibility. That just aligns much better with our values as a fair. It’s a first step, but we’re looking toward a future in which relationships in contemporary art are defined less by the old power dynamics and more by a mutual interest in building a healthier overall ecosystem.”

Immaterial is Material’s groundbreaking performance program. Created and curated by Michelangelo Miccolis, its fourth edition will focus on apparitions, manifestations, and the suspension of disbelief. The program features four original commissions by artists Nikima Jagudajev, Adriana Lara, Kris Lemsalu (in collaboration with Kyp Malone and Barbara Sanchez-Kane), and Manuel Pelmuş. The works will weave themselves in and out of Material, incorporating the adjacent Plaza de la República into the program.

Joining Immaterial is the debut edition of Listening Material, a new series dedicated to live, sound-based performance. Material has invited Eric Namour, director of the renowned experimental music platform elnicho in Mexico City, to curate its first program, details of which will be announced soon.

Following its wildly successful debut last February, Reading Material will be returning for its second edition. Curated again by Eva Posas, Reading Material is dedicated to independent publishers and purveyors of artist books, zines, works on paper and other contemporary art-related publications, where all of the fair’s visiting public has the opportunity to actively participate in the marketplace of art and ideas. The complete lineup of exhibitors will be announced soon.

Material’s attention to architecture and design has become a trademark of the fair. Each edition reflects a full year of the fair's organizers and creative collaborators pushing one another's ideas into surprising, delighting new territory. The fair's seventh edition is no exception.

Material’s iconic, multilevel exhibition structure is reimagined each year by the Mexico City-based architectural studio, APRDELESP, with engineering and construction provided by Andamios Ultra Ecológicos. The fair's smart, playful graphic identity and branding is thanks to Carla Valdivia / Studio Katsu, while its inventive, imaginative interior design is the handiwork of Fabien Cappello. This year, Material’s visitors can expect a total transformation of the structure, with bold swaths of color establishing a marked difference from the fair’s colder, more industrial aesthetic of the last two years.

With the goal of elevating the fair’s cuisine to the level of its programming and production, Material has invited Kenny Curran, former chef de cuisine of Grupo Contramar’s CALA restaurant in San Francisco, to create a delicious and affordable menu for Material as well as take charge of the fair’s food operation. The Frontón México’s lobby will be converted into a cantina of sorts, featuring food-based installations by Mexico City-based artist, PJ Rountree.

Last but not least, the New York City art bar, Beverly’s, will be making its sixth appearance at Material, this time taking over the fair’s newly designed ramp space. Visitors to the fair can expect a very special experience as they move from one floor to another. Of course, they’re also more than welcome to stop for a drink along the way.

Material’s Partner and Creative Director, Brett William Schultz, concludes, “Over the past six editions, I think Material has become something far more interesting than what we originally intended. There are moments when – for me, at least – it has even felt life-affirming. That’s something I never thought I’d experience at an art fair. We’re going to keep pushing in that direction.”

The Grand Opening of Material will take place Friday, February 7th, from 12:00 to 8:00 pm. The fair will then continue on Saturday, February 8th, from 12:00 to 8:00 pm, and on Sunday, February 9th, from 12:00 to 7:00 pm. The cost for general one-day admission to the fair is $200 pesos ($10 usd) and there is a discounted rate of $100 pesos ($5 usd) for teachers, students and seniors.

Frontón México is located at De La República 17, Colonia Tabacalera, in the delegation Cuauhtémoc, close to Mexico City’s Historic Center.

Material Art Fair