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08 February 2024



From 7 to 11 February, Mexico City is celebrating Art Week, an opportunity to revisit the city of chaos and listen to its diverse and incessant voices.

After an attempt to boost the art scene in the city of Monterrey – one of Mexico’s most important economic centres – through the fair “Muestra 1”, the art expert Zélika García decided to transfer the initiative to Mexico City, giving rise in 2004 to what we know today as the most important fair platform in Latin America, Zona Maco.

After twenty years of encouraging private investment and collecting, Zona Maco has managed to position Mexico within the global cultural and artistic market, orchestrating an annual exhibition programme that includes modern art, contemporary art, design, antiques and publishing products, presented by experts and galleries of great national and international weight.

While the great performance, which takes place between the hundreds of objects and works on show, the engrossed suit agents running in various directions with phone and calculator in hand, and the thousands of attendees who visit the Centro Citibanamex every year, has not lost relevance or impact on artistic development, the most interesting thing is undoubtedly what has happened outwards, collaterally, among the artists, curators, galleries, projects and discourses that don’t fit the profile or budgets of the market giants.

Since 2013, the independent and emerging art scene has managed to redirect the attention and flow produced by Zona Maco to plant new proposals, new exhibition formats and new commercial dynamics, giving shape to one of the most awaited and exciting events: Art Week, that every year activates, in a circuit, the initiatives and projects that from other voices and other interests, also seek to promote the cultural economy and strengthen artistic production.


Karla Ximena © 2020 Feria Material and the author

In 2013 the then directors of Yautepec, one of the most important spaces for emerging contemporary art, called for a collective exhibition between various galleries, which took place parallel to Zona Maco in front of one of the most popular cantinas in Mexico City[1]Travesías. Brett, fundador de la Feria de Arte Material, nos cuenta cómo nació este evento y lo que no podemos perdernos este año. [Enlace consultado 20 Enero 2024]. . This exhibition made evident the need for accessible and affordable alternatives for other types of works, artists, projects and collectors, and gave impetus to the creation of the Feria Material, that in 2014 officially celebrated its first edition.

With a commercial approach led by gallery owners who promote the importance of the acquisition of works for the subsistence and expansion of art, Feria Material is a space for connecting different audiences and its market is aimed at young collectors who move in an experimental and casual atmosphere. After 10 years of trajectory, the fair has managed to bring together 356 galleries from 47 countries and has achieved mentions and recognition from publications such as the Financial Times[2]Financial Times. Mexico City’s alternative galleries are challenging stereotypes. [Enlace consultado 20 de Enero 2024]. and Artforum[3]Artforum. Material World. [Enlace consultado 20 Enero 2024]..

Celebrating its Volume 10, this year Material takes over two floors of the Expo Reforma building in the Juárez colony, where in addition to the exhibition programme made up of national and international galleries, there will be talks, screenings and special events such as the musical performance “Estados Fragmentados” by the artist Carlos Amorales at the Polyforum Siqueiros.

Salón ACME

Exhibition «Up Where You Belong» from Avantgardo, presented by Can Can Projects at Salón Acme No. 9 © 2022 Gabino Azuela and Can Can Projects

Alluding to the art salons of old, this platform “created by artists for artists” emerged in 2013 with the mission to achieve visibility and strengthen the trajectory of emerging and mid-career artists. With a focus on the discovery of new talent and curatorial processes, Salón ACME has built a reputation as an alternative for commercial and professional recognition, and a strong community of artists, curators and collectors.

For its 11th edition, Salón ACME presents, within the PRIM Public Project, a complex programme comprising six sections: Convocatoria, the main exhibition showcase made up of the 76 artists selected from the 1,700 applications received in 2024; Bodega, a follow-up and re-reading of works and artists from past editions under a new curatorial line; Estado, an exploration of the artistic practice of another region of the country under the gaze of a local curator; Proyectos, site-specific interventions commissioned to galleries, independent spaces and artist residencies; Sala, dedicated to the publishing industry; Patio, with installations and large-format sculptural proposals; and Encuentros, talk programmes and roundtable discussions.


© 2023 Clavo Movimiento

With a more rebellious spirit, Clavo does not define itself as a fair, but as a movement against nothing and in favour of everything, understanding that flexibility is the best condition for the development of the emerging scene and the strengthening of artists whose careers are taking off. The event proposes an experimental, inclusive and accessible perspective and the right space-moment to invest in art through a direct and less formal approach. In addition to the exhibition space, Clavo provides projects, artists and galleries with accounting and legal consultancy services.

Although originally held in other months, for its sixth edition, Clavo joins the circuit of activities of Art Week, offering the opportunity to get to know national outsider projects such as LLa Guerrera, Galería Tianguis Neza, Plomo, Mi Valedor, Galería Unión, among others; and to meet independent artists, art dealers and talent scouts in a more radical atmosphere.

Zona Maco, Material, Salón ACME and Clavo are leading events in Art Week and their existence has been essential for the activation of the cultural economy, the strengthening of artistic practices in Mexico and their positioning on a global level, nevertheless, the celebration is not limited to these spaces, as the contemporary art scene is diverse and incessant and doesn’t stop mutating and breaking structures to give space to the powerful voices that coexist in the city of chaos. So as well as attending these fairs, it’s well worth getting lost in the CDMX and revisiting it under the gaze of possibility.

Feria Material, from 7 to 11 February
Venue: Expo Reforma
Morelos 67, Juárez, CDMX

Salón ACME, from 8 to 11 February:
Venue: Proyecto Público PRIM
General Prim 30, Juárez, CDMX

Clavo, from 9 to 11 February
Venue: Calle Lisboa 46, Juárez, CDMX

1 Travesías. Brett, fundador de la Feria de Arte Material, nos cuenta cómo nació este evento y lo que no podemos perdernos este año. [Enlace consultado 20 Enero 2024].
2 Financial Times. Mexico City’s alternative galleries are challenging stereotypes. [Enlace consultado 20 de Enero 2024].
3 Artforum. Material World. [Enlace consultado 20 Enero 2024].

Mariela Patiño Reyna is originally from Querétaro, Mexico. She studied Communication and is interested in the experimentation of language through artistic expression in its different manifestations, disciplines and canvases; she believes in art as an illogical way of observing the world, which arises from possibility and incessant questioning. He has worked in the management and mediation of animation and digital art festivals, galleries and contemporary art fairs. She is currently studying for a master’s degree in “Contemporary Art: Context, Mediation and Management” at IL3 of the University of Barcelona.

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