Founded in 1999 by Mónica Manzutto and José Kuri, the gallery started out without a fixed space for exhibitions in order to provoke a different way of working, focused on promoting the careers of the artists represented. Since 2008, it has been based in the neighbourhood of San Miguel Chapultepec. The Kurimanzutto Gallery currently represents 34 artists, both national and international, and is characterized as a meeting place open to criticism and research.
Initially founded as a “nomadic enterprise,” its projects have popped up in disparate spots across Mexico City, inhabiting unlikely locations and always emphasizing the collaborative aspect of art making. Now the co-founders are bringing that same fluid model to New York, with the opening of a new Upper East Side location on May 3rd, in a space that functions as both a gallery and an office.
“I think Manhattan is [a construction site], all of these different uses of materials that are still active, alive. Some particular cities in the world are permanent construction sites, and permanent destruction sites as well, in terms of politics, in terms of economy, in terms of ecology, in terms of nature.” – Abraham Cruzvillegas
The day after Kurimanzutto opened in New York, Cruzvillegas could be found at the Frieze New York art fair, where he gave a talk with author Yuri Herrera and artist Carlos Amorales, who also shows with the gallery. Their discussion was lively and candid, punctuated by lighthearted interludes and hearty laughs. Topics ranged from the transformation of language and identity to the importance of finding a moment of silence within one’s artwork.
Amid all the levity, there were more serious moments. When talking about the consumption of art on an individual level, Herrera said, “I think silence is what makes the piece ergonomical and [allows it to] adapt to every participant in the artistic process.”
At the conversation’s end, Cruzvillegas read Spanish lyrics he had written in honor of the 50-year anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City, a violent event spurred by the government’s desire to quell student protestors. It was a poignant conclusion for an event that centered the concerns and practices of three Mexican artists.
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