Ten Mexican Artists to Discover at Zona MACO
Signed with initials by artist.
Werner Mathias Goeritz Brunner (Danzig, Germany, April 4th, 1915/ now Gdansk, Poland – Mexico City, Mexico; August 4th, 1990).
Mathias Goeritz has had several gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and at the Museo Experimental El Eco. Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auction, including 'MENSAJE' sold at Sotheby's New York 'Latin America: Modern Art' in 2015 for $466,000. There have been Several articles about Mathias Goeritz, including 'LACMA remaps Latin America' written by Suzanne Muchnic for the Los Angeles Times.
Painter, sculptor and Mexican architect associated with the trend of constructive abstraction. He studied medicine at the University of Berlin, but this only lasted a year. The concerns of the young student were aesthetic in nature so he he studied drawing at the Berlin Charlottenburg School of Art. Some of his friends and colleagues were the sculptor Ernst Barlach, painter George Grosz and draughtsman Kaethe Kollwitz. Goeritz studied philosophy and history of art, discipline in which earned a doctorate. He travelled in France, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria and Italy, among other countries.
It is known that he left Germany to live in Tetuan, Morocco in 1941 and then Granada, Spain in 1945. In 1946 he had a large exhibition in the Sala Clan in Madrid under the pseudonym "Mago". Two years later, living in Santilla del Mar, Spain he was a founder of the Escuela de Altamira. The following year he married Marianne Gast, writer and his companion for more than fifteen years. In Spain followed his artistic work by important artists of the avant-garde.
Of Jewish descent, he found refuge from the Second World War in Mexico where in 1949 he was invited by Ignacio Diaz Morales to be a part of the faculty of the School of Architecture at the Universidad de Jalisco. In 1953 he wrote the "Manifiesto de la Arquitectura Emocional" (The Emotional Architecture Manifesto), where he points out that only achieving true emotions from architecture can it then be considered an art form. In Mexico he entered controversy with the artistic stablishment of that country; in an open letter, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros described him as "an impostor without the most insignificant talent and preparation" to be an artist. Despite this, in 1957 he was elected director of visual design of the National School of architecture This same year he founded the Museo del Eco in Mexico City. In 1961 Goeritz participated at the Galería Antonio Souza in a group exhibition, Los hartos, for which he published another manifesto. Other participants included José Luis Cuevas and Pedro Friedeberg, with whom he was instrumental in establishing abstraction and other modern trends in Mexico.He was one of the artists who brought with him new vanguard ideas from Europe during the 50's. A Dadaist, constructivist and expressionist, Goeritz collaborated with Luis Barragan to make El Animal and the famous Torres de Satelite, also with the help of Chucho Reyes, in Mexico City. In 1968, Mathias Goeritz organized the Ruta de la Amistad for the Mexican Olympic Games held that year. His monuments and murals can be seen in numerous places in Mexico and the United States, and his work has been exhibited in countless cities around the world. he anticipated some of the ideas that, in the 1960s, the American minimalists would develop. His outstanding sculptures of this period include the Mixcoac Pyramid (1969) at the Unidad Habitacional Lomas de Plateros in Mexico City and his collaboration with Helen Escobedo, Manuel Felguérez, Hersúa, Sebastián and Federico Silva on the Espacio Escultórico (1979; Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma), a large outdoor sculptural complex at the Ciudad Universitaria on the outskirts of Mexico City.
A critical figure in the development of modern art in postwar Latin America, Mathias Goeritz developed the principle of “emotional architecture.” The unique perspective considers spaces and objects that are produced to elicit empathy and celebrates collaboration rather than functionalism and individual authorship. After emigrating to Mexico from Spain in 1949, Goeritz opened the Museo Experimental El Eco. The institution served as the embodiment of these principles, facilitating collaboration and expanding upon existing notions of patronage. Best known for large-scale, totemic sculptures like Moses and Heads, Goeritz worked in a style that prefigured Minimalism by 10 years. With its elongated, angular, rising and falling form, Goeritz’s sculpture La Serpiente de El Eco (The Serpent of the Echo) best embodies his artistic style.
Mexican, 1915-1990, Gdansk, Poland, based in Mexico City, Mexico
Ten Mexican Artists to Discover at Zona MACO
My Highlights from Zona MACO 2014