The Top Art Galleries Across Mexico You Must Visit

Capilla del Arte, Puebla
Capilla del Arte, Puebla | © Capilla del Arte/WikiCommons

Northern England Writer

It’s no secret that Mexico is a great destination for art lovers and aficionados, but many may not appreciate the wealth of artistic life beyond the (admittedly fantastic) capital city. Whether you head north to Monterrey, or want to sun yourself on the peninsulas of either Baja or Yucatán, you can rest assured that there’s an art gallery for you. Here are the top art galleries across Mexico that you must visit.

1. MARCO, Monterrey

Museum

MARCO, Monterrey
© David de la Luz/Flickr
Monterrey is not a well-trodden destination on the Mexico backpacker trail, given that it’s tucked out of the way in the north-eastern state of Nuevo León. However, if you decide to give this city a go, then you shouldn’t miss what is undoubtedly one of its top attractions – the MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey) gallery. Easy to spot on the central plaza as a result of its giant bronze palomastatue the MARCO has a reputation for attracting excellent temporary exhibits like Dreamworks Animation: Journey From Sketch to Screen.

2. Soumaya, Mexico City

Museum

Our second Mexico City entry comes in the form of Carlos Slim’s exceptional Plaza Carso based Museo Soumaya. Known for its iconic architecture, which features smooth lines formed of geometric components and a bright white interior, the Soumaya museum also houses one of the best (and private) collections of European art from many of the Old Masters, as well as several examples of Mexican creative output too. Plus, it’s ideal if you’re on tight budget, as it’s free to check out 365 days a year.

3. Galería Sergio Bustamente, Guadalajara

Art Gallery

An example of the work of Sergio Bustamente
© pato garza/Flickr
Sergio Bustamente is a Sinaloa-born, Guadalajara-based sculptor and painter who is also the eponymous artist on show at this tapatío art gallery, Galería Sergio Bustamente. His easily recognisable style of warped bodies, rounded faces and animal-themed offerings is surrealism at its best and oddly reminiscent of some of Leonora Carrington’s sculpture at times. Best known for his bronze work, you can also find wooden pieces too and if you’re at all interested in the work of this Mexican artist, Tlaquepaque’s Galería Sergio Bustamente is a must.

4. Galería Mérida, Mérida

Art Gallery, Building

Spotlighting Yucatecan artists is the trademark of Galería Mérida, which brings together contemporary and fine art in the heart of this colonial city. In fact, the building in which Galería Mérida is housed is an excellent example of the colonial architecture that dominates much of the historic centre and the tiled floors are practically artworks in their own right. Whether you like painting, sculpture or photography, there will be an exhibit for you at Galería Mérida and the exhibitions are regularly updated. Don’t miss the patios at the back.

5. Capilla del Arte, Puebla

Museum

Capilla del Arte, Puebla
© Capilla del Arte/WikiCommons
Art gallery edifices don’t get more spectacular than Puebla’s fantastic Capilla del Arte, which brings together a contemporary gallery, a mini reading room and an artistic forum under one roof. This high-ceilinged masterpiece was only inaugurated in 2009 and has since hosted pieces by nationally (and internationally) acclaimed artists like Gabriel Orozco, José Luis Cuevas, Diego Rivera, Abraham Cruzvillegas and Teresas Margolles, the latter of whom is perhaps best known at the moment for her contribution to the femicide exhibition at the MYT, Mexico City.

6. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Building, Museum

Often abbreviated to MACO, Oaxaca’s Museo de Arte Contemporáneo brings together global contemporary pieces with traditional, local art and artists like the famed Francisco Toledo, fusing the two into an impressively curated set of exhibition rooms. As with some of the other entries on this list, it’s not just the art that’s the draw either, but also the building – MACO is housed in one of Oaxaca’s oldest colonial buildings, dating from the 17th century. Don’t forget to check out Patio C either, with its bold use of colour and regularly updated exhibitions.

Galería Ida Victoria, San José del Cabo

Moving other to the other side of the country, we find San José del Cabo’s Galería Ida Victoria, which specialises in exhibiting the work of both emerging and established artists and has regularly been voted the best art gallery in the region – impressive, when you consider the artsy reputation of the area! Every taste is catered for here, but it seems that most of the represented artists are drawn to vibrant, eclectic styles that make for beautifully bright and appealing pieces.

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