The sprawling, high-octane metropolis of Mexico City is home to some top class museums, offering visitors plenty of exhibitions to enjoy this winter.
Built in the 16th century by the Spanish on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital, the Mexican capital is one of the world’s largest and most densely-populated cities. At the heart of its flourishing cultural scene are a wide number of museums and other institutions that stage exhibitions and events throughout the year. Here are 7 of the best set to run through the upcoming winter months.
Cult of the souls in Tiríndaro, Michoacán
In the northern Mexican state of Michoacán is an area once populated by the Purepecha tribe, an indigenous group whose native language was Trasco, giving rise to the nickname Tarascan Indians, and the name of the town, Tiríndaro. Among the rituals once performed in this highly spiritual town was preserving the remains of deceased children under the floors of domestic spaces within the family home, demonstrating the importance that ancient societies attached – and still attach – to death and the transcendence of the deceased to higher planes. Created in partnership with the community of Tiríndaro, this exhibition recreates custom around the visit of the souls, with the intention of building bridges between cultures that make up the nation.
Museo Nacional de Antropología / Through December 2023
Mexichrome. Photography & Color in Mexico
The first comprehensive history of colour photography in Mexico, this exhibition explores the broad and complex history that emerged in the country after the invention of the first colour film, marketed by Kodak more than eight decades ago. The result of a three-year research project, it presents more than 180 photographs by more than 110 authors from Mexico, the United States and various countries in Latin America and Europe. These images not only reconfigure and challenge an established photographic canon, but also highlight themes shared over the decades, while revealing discrepancies and contrasts between photography considered “artistic” and photojournalism.
Palacio de Bellas Artes / 29 November 2023 – 3 March 2024
Everything Gets Lighter
Created as part of the Museo Jumex’s 10th anniversary celebrations, this exhibition explores the healing power of light and lightness as an antidote to the forces of darkness and heaviness that can envelop us today. Featuring works by more than 65 international artists, the title is inspired by the eponymous poem from the late American poet and performance artist John Giorno that expounds on how life is transitory and, ultimately, immaterial, and how both light and lightness can serve as extremely powerful elemental forces of spiritual transcendence, clarity, renewal and rebirth.
Museo Jumex / 18 November 2023 – 11 February 2024
Notre Dame en México
Constructed in Paris in the 10th century, the Notre-Dame is one of the world’s most iconic cathedrals. In 2019, while undergoing renovation and restoration, its roof caught fire and burned for 15 hours, causing serious damage throughout. From its medieval foundations to the current restoration site, this interactive exhibition allows visitors to explore its remarkable confines. Through the use of virtual reality headsets, it also lets you step back in time and relive the golden days of the cathedral by witnessing such historic events as the coronation of Napoleon and the marriage of Henry IV.
Museo Franz Mayer / Through February 2024
Remedios Varo: Science Fictions
The work of the late Spanish surrealist painter Remedios Varo reveal a complex feminist perspective influenced by her experience as a woman in Mexico in the 1950s, as well as by the proponents of Parisian surrealism. Featuring a vast selection of Varo’s paintings as well as sketches, detailed studies, and personal objects of the artist, this exhibition showcases the artist’s fascination with modern science, alchemy, magic, mysticism, shedding light on her distinctive artistic techniques, as well as her individual view of the world.
Museo de Arte Moderno / Through December 2023
Rodrigo Pimentel: Transmutations
The Mexican state of Michoacán has been one of the clearest influences on the Mexican Postwar & Contemporary painter Rodrigo Pimentel. The colour and mystery evoked by listening to the traditional tales of his land gave shape and meaning to the protagonists of his paintings. This exhibition presents a journey through Pimentel’s prolific career. It features a selection of his works of the last four decades, including oil paintings, water colours, and drawings, and explores five themes that have most captivated his reflections down the years: Origins; Portraits; The Mask, National Carnival; Allegories; Bestiary and Landscape.
National Art Museum / Through 3 December 2023
Painting and engraving. From the Middle Ages to Modernism
The new painting and engraving room at the Museo Franz Mayer opens to the public with 56 works from a collection that Franz Mayer, a German-Mexican financier, photographer and museum founder, began back in 1935. The permanent exhibition houses more than 800 European, New Spanish and Mexican paintings that invite visitors to take a journey through different visual languages, artistic traditions and cultural horizons over the centuries. Included are works by prominent artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Juan Correa, José de Ribera “el Españoleto”, Diego Rivera and Joaquín Sorolla, among others.
Museo Franz Mayer / Permanent