With the greatest concentration of museums in the country, Mexico City is home to a vibrant art scene. We profile the best galleries in the Mexican capital.
A converted pool hall makes for an excellent art gallery – that’s if Proyectos Monclova is anything to go by anyway. This vast space is now home to a pleasing mixture and regularly changing roster of both local and international artworks. Despite only moving to Colonia Roma in 2012, it has rapidly become one of Mexico City’s most intriguing and must-see contemporary art galleries.
Established in the late 90s, the entirely non-Mexican sounding Kurimanzutto art gallery has gone from strength to strength and is now a firm favorite of the Mexico City’s contemporary art lovers. Famed internationally, especially for its tendency to promote Mexican artists in particular, Kurimanzutto can be found in a renovated space in San Miguel Chapultepec. Forever prioritizing innovation, it’s a must-see in CDMX.
The so-called MoMA of Mexico City is the enormous five-story Museo Jumex. With its distinctive David Chipperfield designed, but neutral colored exterior, this museum blows people away. Museo Jumex’s comprehensive and permanent collection of modern art includes framed pieces by modern artists such as Gabriel Orozco, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol. Current temporary exhibitions include Swiss artists Peter Fischli and the late David Weiss.
One of the most established art galleries in Mexico City is the excellent Galería OMR. Featuring permanent collections by Pia Camil, Julieta Aranda and Daniel Silver, this gallery can be found in the stunning RAW, in the trendy Roma Norte district of Mexico City.
A firm fixture on any guide to Mexico’s best art galleries is the Museo Frida Kahlo. This museum-cum-gallery feels like you’re wandering into one of Kahlo’s instantly recognizable artworks – from the vivid blue walls that give the building its famed nickname, La Casa Azul(The Blue House) to the verdant greenery in the courtyard, it’s an immersive leap into her life and art. Kahlo is arguably Mexico’s most influential artist and her former home makes for an unmissable experience.
Situated in Polanco is the Galería Lopez Quiroga, which specializes in photography, paintings and sculpture. With a mixture of well-known Mexican artists such as José Clemente Orozco, Francisco Toledo and Rufino Tamayo, this gallery has something for everyone. Plus, their small but perfectly formed top-floor library is particularly excellent!
For a more specific collection of Mexican art produced between the late 16th century and mid-20th century, the neo-classical Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) is an essential visit for anyone in Mexico City. Located smack in the middle of the historic center close to the iconic Palacio de Bellas Artes, it’s incredibly accessible and features pieces by influential muralist Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Jose Clemente Orozco.
Another excellent option for contemporary art fans is the striking outward-sloping walled Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, situated in the quirky Coyoacán district. Colloquially known as MUAC, it’s spacious and highly recommended for art fans visiting Mexico City. Its permanent collection has almost 1,500 pieces and features works from 1952 onwards – but its building is practically an art work in itself.
Founded and named after the famed Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, the architecture of Museo Tamayo is as fascinating as its impressive permanent collection and rotating, curated expositions. Well established in Mexico City as one of the best and most accessible modern art museums, it features a range of photography, sculpture and paintings. Find it in the lush Bosque de Chapultepec and close to the historic center.
Just around the corner from Museo Tamayo is the equally worthy Museo de Arte Moderno, which boasts one if the largest and most well curated modern art collections in the world. With exhibits to rival New York’s MoMA, there are almost 3,000 pieces to marvel over in this outstanding gallery.
We round off our collection of Mexico City’s best art galleries with one of the most up-and-coming contemporary galleries on the scene: House of Gaga. House of Gaga is rapidly gaining itself acclaim both nationally and internationally – its willingness to take risks is paying off. Currently housing works by Sam Pulitzer and Karl Holmqvist, their exhibitions are simultaneously shocking, quirky and cool.