Monday, 20 July 2015
Mexico City & the Museo Jumex

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Mexico City & the Museo Jumex

At dinner parties people love to chat about where one could move next. Barcelona was hot in the 90s, Berlin in the 2000s, London is always in the top 5, but lately Mexico City has been on the top spot more often than expected.

It might be because George Clooney likes Tequila, that high end Mexican restaurants are super chic in London right now, or because the first generation of wealthy Mexicans from the US are going back to Mexico to build something new and to give something back to the world they came from.

One thing though is for sure: Mexico is on the art map. Maco Mexico art fair has been an insider tip for years, and with the opening of Museo Jumex in late 2013 Mexico has finally become a serious contender for cultural nomads.

Not far from the Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City’s answer to Central Park, the 21st-century prince Eugenio Lopez launched Museo Jumex (pronounced WHO-mex) in late 2013. Considered Latin America’s largest contemporary art museum, Museo Jumex was voted ‘Best New Culture Destination’ at the Leading
Culture Destinations Awards which took place in London in October 2014.

“Barcelona was hot in the 90s, Berlin in the 2000s, London is always in the top 5, but lately Mexico City has been on the top spot more often than expected"

Designed by the British architect David Chipperfield and named after the Lopez family’s fruit juice empire, it’s located at Plaza Carso and next to Mexico’s most visited museum Museo Soumaya (named after Carlos Slim’s deceased wife), which is home to some grand masters such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, the circle of Leonardo da Vinci, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Joan Miró, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet.

Los Angeles based Lopez - a self-styled importer and exporter of culture - Lopez started collecting art a decade before but when the art adviser Patricia Martín, a key mentor, got him to think beyond that trophy mentality and to imagine instead a foundation that would not only collect art but also dispense scholarships for arts education, provide grants for young Mexican artists, and fund acquisitions of Mexican art abroad.

Lopez also is on the board of the New Museum in New York and on the international council of London’s Tate Modern. The collection includes Gabriel Orozco, Francis Alÿs, and Damián Ortega but it also covers Robert Rauschenberg, Pedro Reyes, Ugo Rondinone, Richard Prince, Nancy Rubins, Sterling Ruby, Thomas Ruff, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha and Roni Horn.

Vanessa Arelle, the Mexican culture attache in London told us in an interview that “The Museum Jumex has indeed made a huge contribution to the perception of Mexico City and has had a major impact for the local art scene and the local community - and ultimately for the city and the country.”