Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

 

It seems Mexico City is the place to be right now when it comes to genuinely cool creative projects. Joining a burgeoning number of design-scene initiatives around town, Masa Gallery has launched its inaugural exhibition inside an abandoned 1970’s mansion.

Founded by a prominent collective of creatives from the art, design, and architecture disciplines, Masa is a nomadic project, taking its name from the Mexican word for cornmeal, “a pliable material that quells hunger and sustains culture.” Without a permanent venue, Masa will evolve its exhibitions according to what works with the host space, each of which will challenge traditional expectations of a gallery setting.

Fittingly, the launch exhibition, “Collective/Collectible” examines what it means to be “from somewhere,” featuring functional pieces by 16 artists and designers who are native to Mexico, or live in the country and have been influenced by it in their designs.

Masa explains, “biographical precedents ask how the structures that define a place might be separate from the structures of the state, which can impart citizenship but not a sense of belonging.”

 

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

 

Curators Su Wu and Constanza Garza arranged pieces to complement existing features of the mansion, which are striking in and of themselves, including double height windows, a grand staircase, columns, and ruby-red carpets and walls.

A pair of pink chairs by Pedro Reyes, almost Aztec in their geometric design, look right at home at the foot of the stairs. Elsewhere, his ‘Mano-Sillas’ hand-shaped chairs are placed on timber floors in front of a gridded window.

Brian Thoreen’s black and white tables appear luminescent amongst an expansive, monochrome red room, their dramatic wavy shape reminiscent of a live organism.

Hand carved sculptures of black marble and volcanic stone by EWE Studio are arranged on white podiums, the simplicity of which is tempered by a bold mustard-coloured carpet and rich blue curtains that hang behind.

 

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

Masa Design Gallery Launches Inside An Abandoned 1970s Mansion in Mexico City | Yellowtrace

 

To add context to the display, Masa included historical works by Mexican artists alongside the contemporary pieces, including pieces by Francis Alÿs, Juan O’Gorman, Ana Mendieta, On Kawara, and Leonora Carrington.

The exhibit extends outside to make use of the mansion’s garden, including a circular onyx bench by Alma Allen and tables by Jose Dávila topped with aggressively bent slabs of stone.

Collective/Collectible is on display from February 7 to April 13, 2019. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see where Masa takes over for their next exhibition.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Masa Design. Photography by Genevieve Lutkin.]

 

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