What to See in Mexico City During Zona Maco

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Mexico City pulsates with a unique energy woven from ancient history, a captivating culture, and a burgeoning contemporary art scene. And during Art Week, this energy reaches a fever pitch.

From February 7th to 11th, Zona Maco, Latin America’s largest art fair, takes center stage, drawing collectors, curators, and art enthusiasts from around the globe. But the magic extends far beyond the fair’s walls, spilling into galleries, museums, and public spaces throughout the city.

How Mexico City became a global center for contemporary art | PBS NewsHour

In this segment, Jeffrey Brown from PBS NewsHour introduces Zona Maco, highlighting Mexico’s longstanding position as a cosmopolitan art center. He mentions the iconic murals of Diego Rivera and others, representing a century-old history of artistic significance.

Additionally, Brown emphasizes the emergence of contemporary art hubs and the transformation of Mexico City’s skyline due to breathtaking museum architecture.

During an interview, Brown converses with Cuauhtémoc Medina, a renowned art curator, critic, historian, and Chief Curator at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico City. Medina said, “I would say the French and New Yorkers are parochial, and they don’t know it. They used to  think that they were the center. They haven’t noticed that they are not any  longer, and that the center has vanished.”

Zona Maco | Feb 7-11, 2024 | at Centro Citibanamex west of the Polanco district | Av. del Conscripto 311, Lomas de Sotelo, Hipódromo de las Américas, Miguel Hidalgo, 11610 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Zona maco - espejismo que dejó el tren 1 (detail), 2023, leyla cárdenas with galería max estrella
Zona Maco – Espejismo que dejó el tren 1 (Detail), 2023, Leyla Cárdenas with Galería Max Estrella

What to See at Zona Maco

Dive into the vibrant heart of Zona Maco, located at Centro Citibanamex. Experience an array of diverse artworks showcased by international and Mexican galleries. Discover creations spanning established masters and groundbreaking newcomers. Elevate your art experience by attending curated talks, presentations, and special events.

At booth SUR 18, Galería Max Estrella will showcase Leyla Cárdenas’ artwork, driven by her exploration of the passage of time and her visual search to represent its fragmentation and concurrence. 

Among her interests is the analysis of the palimpsest texture of urban environments—the city as a hub of times, spaces, interpretations, histories, and memories. The dye-sublimated fabric printing technique creates a play of transparency.

In Cárdenas’ “Mirage” series, overgrown vegetation surrounds abandoned railroad tracks that were once symbolic of the nation’s aspirations for modernization. In her photographic practice, Cárdenas investigates—in the manner of an archaeologist—abandoned places that bear witness to states of loss and oblivion. 

In 2022, she joined the 16th Lyon Biennale, “Manifesto of Fragility.” Her work “Excisión” was featured in the exhibition “Home” at LACMA and the MFAH in 2017. She’s had solo exhibitions in Bogotá, San Jose, Miami, Paris, Los Angeles, and Madrid.

Galería Max Estrella | Booth SUR 18 at Zona Maco | Patio, C. de Santo Tomé, 6, Patio interior, Centro, 28004 Madrid, Spain

Zona maco - brighter days i slipped into my own skin serie albahian, 2024, joana choumali with 193 galleryZona maco - brighter days i slipped into my own skin serie albahian, 2024, joana choumali with 193 gallery
Zona Maco – Brighter days i slipped into my own skin serie Albahian, 2024, Joana Choumali with 193 Gallery

At booth EJ01, 193 Gallery will showcase the works of Joana Choumali, an Ivory Coast-based mixed media artist. Choumali captures her surrounding landscapes and neighborhoods through her lens. In a distinctive mixed technique, she adorns her photographs with layers of fabrics interwoven with silhouettes of passers-by, incorporating collage, embroidery, painting, and photomontage.

Choumali’s “Translation and Adorn” series was prominently featured at the Ivory Coast Pavilion during the prestigious 57th Venice International Biennale. She also received the 2020 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography, bestowed by The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University.

193 Gallery | Booth EJ01 at Zona Maco | 24 Rue Béranger, 75003 Paris, France

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CAM Galeria in Mexico City

Nearby to Zona Maco is the Chic Polanco District

Zona Maco is just a stone’s throw away from the city’s vibrant dining and gallery scene in the Polanco district. During Art Week, galleries, museums, and public spaces come alive with captivating exhibitions, installations, and performances, providing an immersive experience for art enthusiasts. The must-see galleries in the neighborhood are CAM Galeria, Morán Morán, and Proyectos Monclova.

The chic W Mexico City, nestled in Chapultepec Park, is a mere few blocks south of Polanco, offering an ideal home base for exploring the fair and participating in the week’s activities.

Indulge in Polanco’s culinary delights by savoring a delectable dinner at Pujol, consistently recognized as one of the world’s best restaurants. Chef Enrique Olvera’s innovative tasting menu, inspired by Mexican ingredients and traditions, promises a gastronomic journey like no other, set within a stylish and modern ambiance.

CAM Galeria | Aristóteles 354, Polanco, Granada, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Morán Morán – Mexico City | Av. Horacio 1022, Polanco, Polanco III Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11550 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Proyectos Monclova | Lamartine 415, Polanco, Polanco V Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Pujol | Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11570 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

W Mexico City | Campos Elíseos 252, Polanco, Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico | Trivago | Booking.com

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Chapultepec park in mexico cityChapultepec park in mexico city
Bosque de Chapultepec in Mexico City – Photo by Oscar Dominguez

What to See in Bosque de Chapultepec

Bosque de Chapultepec, often referred to as the lungs of Mexico City, is an iconic urban park known for its natural beauty and rich cultural offerings. With over 1,600 acres of lush green spaces, Chapultepec is home to various landmarks, including the Chapultepec Castle, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the Museum of Modern Art. Visitors can explore its serene lakes, admire the historic monuments, or enjoy a relaxing picnic. This vibrant park is a beloved gathering place for locals and connects the Polanco and San Miguel Chapultepec districts.

Renata Petersen in Conversation at Lago Algo

Join Renata Petersen in conversation with Jérôme Sans for Capítulo V: Heat. This engaging talk will take place on Friday, February 9th at 10:30 am at Lago Algo, a cultural center in the park.

If you can’t make the talk, Lago Algo’s restaurant is worth a stop while you explore the park during a break from the fairs.

Lago Algo | Bosque de Chapultepec, Pista El Sope S/N, Bosque de Chapultepec II Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Museo de Arte Moderno

The Museum of Modern Art (Museo de Arte Moderno – MAM) invites you to explore the captivating evolution of Mexican modern art. Renowned artists like Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros feature prominently in the permanent collection, highlighting the Mexican School of Painting and the Breakaway Generation.

During Zona Maco, don’t miss the “FEMINIST POETICS. ANA VICTORIA JIMÉNEZ / ALICIA D´AMICO” exhibition. Curated by Karen Cordero and María Laura Rosa, this showcase presents the documentary and artistic works of influential photographers Ana Victoria Jiménez from Mexico and Alicia D’Amico from Argentina.

Their socially conscious and poetic photography intertwines feminist aesthetics with a deep commitment to social issues. The exhibition highlights the connections and impact of Latin American women’s movements, contextualizing these creators within the broader narrative of Latin American art.

Museo de Arte Moderno – MAM | Av. P.º de la Reforma s/n, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11580 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

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Kurimanzutto in Mexico City

What to See in San Miguel Chapultepec

Head south through Bosque de Chapultepec to reach San Miguel Chapultepec. This traditional neighborhood south of the vast Bosque de Chapultepec Park offers a blend of architectural styles. You’ll find French-inspired mansions, apartment blocks, and single-story storefronts. Additionally, Luis Barragan’s modernist Casa Gilardi is there.

While primarily a residential area, San Miguel Chapultepec is developing a vibrant arts and culinary scene. Stylish cafes and eclectic art galleries are popping up near the park.

Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the following galleries in San Miguel Chapultepec: Galería RGR, Kurimanzutto, LABOR, and Patricia Conde Galería For an even more comprehensive range of galleries, venture a bit further south to Saenger Galería.

Galería RGR | Calle Gral. Antonio León 48, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11850 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Kurimanzutto | C. Gobernador Rafael Rebollar 94, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11850 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

LABOR | Gral. Francisco Ramírez 5, Ampliación Daniel Garza, Amp Daniel Garza, Miguel Hidalgo, 11840 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Patricia Conde Galería | Calle Gral. Juan Cano 68, San Miguel Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11850 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Saenger Galería | C. Manuel Dublán 33-4o. Piso, Tacubaya, Miguel Hidalgo, 11870 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Zona maco - qualities times elsa-louise manceaux at pequod co for mexico city art weekZona maco - qualities times elsa-louise manceaux at pequod co for mexico city art week
Zona Maco – Qualities Times Elsa-Louise Manceaux at Pequod Co for Mexico City Art Week

Discover the Must-See Satellite Fair: Feria Material in Colonia Juárez

Experience the excitement of Feria Material, the must-visit satellite fair of Mexico City Art Week. Held at Expo Reforma in the vibrant Colonia Juárez district, Feria Material returns for its 10th edition, showcasing emerging talents and cutting-edge contemporary art.

Explore Innovative Art at NOON Projects (Booth B29)

At Feria Material, visit NOON Projects at booth B29 to discover new works by Fabian Guerrero, Maddy Inez Leeser, Matt Lifson, Johanna Jackson, Matt Momchilov, Daniela Gomez Paz, Christian Rogers, and David Shull.

Feria Material | Feb 8-11, 2024 | at Expo Reforma in the Colonia Juárez district | Av. Morelos 67, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Immerse Yourself in the Juárez District

The Juárez district is the perfect place to stay if you want to spend more time at Feria Material and the surrounding galleries and institutions, including Museo Experimental el Eco and the Mariane Ibrahim. It’s also just north of the renowned Roma Norte neighborhood with its myriad art spaces.

Consider Hotel NH Collection Mexico City Reforma or Sofitel Mexico City Reforma for a comfortable stay. If you want a unique experience, Soho House welcomes non-member bookings.

Hotel NH Collection Mexico City Reforma | Liverpool 155, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico | Trivago | Booking.com

Sofitel Mexico City Reforma | 297 Avenue, Av. P.º de la Reforma, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico, CDMX, Mexico | Trivago | Booking.com

Soho House Mexico City | C. Versalles 28, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Elsa-Louise Manceaux’s Solo Exhibition at Pequod Co.

In Juárez, at Pequod Co., don’t miss Elsa-Louise Manceaux’s solo show, “Qualities’ Times,” which is on display until March 23, 2024. The gallery will also be present at Feria Material in booth A28.

“Qualities’ Times” delves into the evolution of emotional life and visual sensibilities in our rapidly changing world. She addresses profound social and cultural shifts using diverse techniques and surfaces. By questioning the qualities of today, Manceaux invites viewers to deconstruct the notion that painting’s formal aspects lack content. The series highlights luminosity, intimacy, and political and sexual emancipation, emphasizing sensitivity as a lens for interpreting the collective world.

Born in Paris in 1985, Manceaux currently resides in Mexico City. She completed her studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2009 and later pursued the SOMA postgraduate program in Mexico City from 2015 to 2016. In 2019, she was honored with the acquisition prize at the 3rd Landscape Biennial in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

Mariane Ibrahim – Mexico City | Río Pánuco 36, Col. Renacimiento, Cuauhtémoc, 06500 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Museo Experimental el Eco | C. James Sullivan 43, San Rafael, Cuauhtémoc, 06470 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Pequod Co. | Booth A28 at Feria Material| Elsa-Louise Manceaux exhibition at Lancaster 29, Juárez, Cuauhtémoc, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Zona maco - wacha viajes transtemporales at commonwealth and coul for mexico city art weekZona maco - wacha viajes transtemporales at commonwealth and coul for mexico city art week
Zona Maco – WACHA viajes transtemporales at Commonwealth and Coul for Mexico City Art Week

Explore Roma Norte and Condesa Neighborhoods

Discover the vibrant art scene, unique boutiques, and trendy cafes in the hip neighborhoods of Roma Norte and Condesa. Don’t miss these must-visit art galleries:

  1. Arroniz: Known for its cutting-edge exhibitions and support for emerging artists.
  2. Commonwealth and Council: A contemporary gallery showcasing installations and multimedia works.
  3. Deli: A creative space featuring a mix of local and international artists.
  4. LLANO: A dynamic platform for contemporary art, design, and culture.
  5. OMR: Renowned for its exhibitions that explore the intersection of art and social issues.
  6. Travesía Cuatro: A hidden gem showcasing emerging and established contemporary artists.

Indulge in Culinary Delights and Hidden Courtyards:

Stroll through the hidden courtyards of Roma Norte and Condesa and discover charming cafes and restaurants. Treat yourself to brunch at Rosetta, a celebrated eatery known for its eclectic menu that blends international flavors with a unique Mexican twist.

Experience “WACHA: viajes transtemporales” Exhibition:

On February 6th, Commonwealth and Council will open “WACHA: viajes transtemporales,” an exhibition with Guadalupe Rosales and rafa esparza. Through multimedia installations, Rosales brings to life the vibrant energy of 1980s and 1990s Los Angeles youth culture, while esparza incorporates soil from significant places into his adobe panel paintings and floor structures. Their multidisciplinary presentation explores themes of personal and collective memories and the development of a queer Brown identity.

Their pieces, featured in notable collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, invite viewers to reflect on the past, present, and future while highlighting the significance of collective identity.

Arroniz Contemporary Art | Tabasco 198, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Commonwealth and Council – Mexico City | Plaza Rio De Janeiro 52A-1, 52A-2, Roma Nte, CDMX, MX 06700

Deli – Mexico City | Puebla 114, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico

LLANO | C. Dr. Lucio 181, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc, 06720 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

OMR | Córdoba 100, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Restaurante Rosetta | Colima 166, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Travesía Cuatro – Mexico City | Valladolid 35, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Zona Maco Map

Zona Maco and Mexico City Art Week provide an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in Latin America’s vibrant contemporary art scene. From captivating exhibitions to inspiring galleries, there’s something for every art enthusiast to explore. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply a curious observer, this cultural extravaganza promises an unforgettable experience.

The Find Contemporary Art map has yellow pins for Zona Maco and Feria Material, numbered blue pins for museums and galleries, and purple icons for hotels and restaurants.

Pre-travel Research:

  • Zona Maco website: Browse the list of exhibitors, curated sections, and special events to plan your fair experience.
  • Mexico City Tourism Board: This official website offers comprehensive information on attractions, transportation, and events in Mexico City.

Bonus Tips:

  • The Mexico City Metro is extensive, only second to New York City in size within North America.
  • If the metro doesn’t work for you, Uber is available in the city center, and taxis are always readily available.
  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases to enhance your local interactions.
  • Download Google Translate for assistance with communication.
  • If your phone provider doesn’t have free coverage in Mexico, download an e-sim to stay connected and avoid roaming charges. Airalo esim is a good option.
  • Remember to tip at restaurants and bars, although it’s generally less expected than in the US.
  • Download the Find Contemporary Art map. If you need directions, type your email address below, and they will automatically be sent to you.

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