Eugenio López Alonso’s contemporary art collection began in the 1990s and is one of Latin America’s most extensive and important. Beginning in November of 2013, it got one step closer to city residents in a new headquarters that acts as the primary exhibition space of the Jumex Contemporary Art Foundation.
British architect David Chipperfield, who formed part of the Tate Modern and the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, designed this building, his first in Latin America. His project sought to integrate the building into the environment, with open spaces and a slanted room that promotes natural light. The museum is built on a 2,500-square-meter plot of land and takes up five floors that reach a bit more than 6,700 square meters.
The current headquarters and gallery in Ecatepec won’t close its doors, rather it’ll remains open with more experimental expositions that are specifically thought out for the space as it currently exists.
“We’re going to preset projects in Ecatepec that are directly related to the contexts of the production plant, which happens to be located in an industrial zone that is one of the most densely populated areas of the country,” said Patrick Charpenel, the foundation’s director.
“Furthermore, in terms of actual space, we’re going to maintain the storage and library in Ecatepec, which is growing more and we are want it to become a consultation center about Mexico’s most important contemporary art.”
The museum opened with a show that brought out some of the collection’s works, and another that was held in conjunction with MoMA PS1 and revised the trajectory of conceptual artist James Lee Byars, highlighted by his performances. It also was inaugurated with a piece commissioned by Damián Ortega for the museum’s patio, “it’s a mechanical piece that works like a clock on the floor, and at the same time is a kind of mechanical planetarium,” said Charpenel.
A fourth project was the publication “The ideas of Gamboa,” resulting from an investigation by Mauricio Marcin where he studies the role of cultural promoter Fernando Gamboa in the world of Mexican museums.
With this program Patrick Charpenel tries to reflect every part of the foundation’s structure, thereby changing the perception that it’s only a collection: “I insist, we are much more, we are a contemporary art institution, active in many ways. From the educational programs, the investigation area, the scholarship, to artist sponsorship, and the publications that we make, from which we also started an editorial.”