IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

 

When it comes to museums and galleries that have completely shunned the concept of the white cube exhibition space, the world has a pretty impressive catalogue. Rather than unadorned, flat white walls that allow art enthusiasts to focus solely on the work presented to them, imaginative exhibition concepts champion the escapism and raw creativity in art. They throw light on the history of a locale and the power of architecture. Think the Peter Zumthor-designed Zinc Mine Museum in southern Norway, the Museum of Memory in Granada by Alberto Campo Baeza, or Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield. And before these, there was Centre Georges Pompidou, and the spiralled walls of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York by Frank Lloyd Wright.

At a glance, IK Lab Fine Art Gallery looks a bit like the inside of a tree or a magical dwelling from Peter Jackson’s Rivendell – maybe not the most ideal spot to string up a set of new oil paintings. It is, however, a new high-brow exhibition space built into the leafy grounds of a luxury eco-lodge in Tulum. The gallery is the brainchild of the lodge’s founder, artist and designer Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel, along with Guggenheim descendant, gallerist Santiago Rumney Guggenheim (Peggy’s great-grandson).

Following his hereditary penchant for unusual, challenging architecture as galleries (Peggy’s Art for This Century Gallery in Manhattan, or Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, for example) Rumney saw the potential to show art in a more intriguing, interesting light from within Eduardo’s breathtaking treehouse.

 

IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

IK LAB Fine Art Gallery in Tulum, Mexico by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel | Yellowtrace

 

The otherworldly structure has been designed to complement its Caribbean coastal setting and the traditional culture of Mexico‘s Yucatán Peninsula. Balanced on stilts so as not to disturb the wildlife below, the walls, domes, walkways, and balconies of the gallery are woven with saplings and vines which have been sourced sustainably from local jungles. Apparently, no new trees were cut down to create it. Light floods in through wide, circular windows and a slatted canopy-slash-ceiling. The floor undulates almost organically – switching between locally sourced timber and smooth faux-concrete that looks like the interior of a submerged cave.

IK Lab’s inaugural exhibition, naturally enough, explores the human journey through both physical and metaphysical realms. Three artists are featured: towering sculptures by Brazilian artist Artur Lescher hang from the gallery’s cavernous ceiling, minimalist neon works by Russian artist Margo Trushina are peppered throughout, and 250 pendulums by Paris-based Tatiana Trouve descend from the height of a 12-metre high dome.

 

Related: Peter Zumthor’s Allmannajuvet Zinc Mine Museum in Sauda, Norway.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel.]

 

About The Author

Sammy Preston

Sammy Preston is a writer, editor, and curator living in Sydney. Working especially within art and design, and then lifestyle and culture more broadly, Sammy is a senior writer at Broadsheet, and a contributing digital editor at Foxtel's Lifestyle platform. Sammy also contributes regularly to art and design press like VAULT Magazine, Art Collector, Art Edit, Habitus, and Indesign magazines. She's written art essays for MUSEUM, exhibition texts for Sophie Gannon Gallery, and has worked as an arts and culture editor for FBi Radio. In 2016, she worked as part of the editorial team for Indesign Magazine as digital editor during the publication's pivotal print and website redesign. Sammy was also the founding manager and curator of contemporary art space Gallery 2010—a curator-run initiative housed within a Surry Hills loading dock. The gallery hosted exhibitions with emerging and established artists from 2012 until 2016.

One Response

  1. linclon007

    How design can be so beautiful this article is prove of that. One thing is clear here very creative minds worked to made it, beside the sea this is really nice choice for place. Excellent work man.

    Reply

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