“Nomadic” design gallery MASA opens permanent location in CDMX
MASA Gallery has announced the opening of its permanent gallery in a heritage building in Mexico City where installations as well as a repository of work from past shows will be held.
To mark the gallery’s fifth anniversary, MASA has set up shop in a historic home in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighbourhood of the Mexican capital.
Originally constructed in 1846, the 600-square-metre home was purchased by artist Federico Sánchez Fogarty in the early 20th century, who renovated it.
With five-metre tall ceilings, the building provided an ideal space for the gallery to display its works, and minimal interventions were made to the classical detailing.
MASA co-founder Age Salajõe told Dezeen that after a year of searching for a space that the home, which was a meeting space for artists and architects in the 20th century, was the correct fit.
“It’s clean yet classical,” she said.
The gallery made minimal interventions to the interior of the building, besides applying fresh paint and adding interior walls to optimise light in the display areas.
“The house itself expressed the spirit of what we have always been with MASA,” added co-founder Héctor Esrawe.
“The project of MASA is not shifting from the nomadic part, it’s just that it became logical for us to have a physical space.”
“We will still be travelling all over the world with exhibitions, but we also collect previous exhibitions that we need to display and this space becomes perfect,” he continued.
“We really appreciate what is there, and there are times that you don’t need to, as a creative to leave your mark. You need to be honest with the spot and this spot is so strong, that doesn’t even require intervention.”
To start off the series of installations, two collections were chosen: one by the third co-founder of MASA, Brian Thoreen, and the other by artist Mario García Torres.
For Thoreen’s first solo show, the artist selected an array of functional and non-functional works called Non-Zero-Sum.
Arrayed in the white-painted walls of the house, the works include two-metre-tall candles as well as a selection of chairs and other furniture that were constructed using heavy neoprene.
Also on show is a more decorative triptych that depicts binary code cast in charcoal on paper.
“Through materiality and conceptuality, the piece merges digital and analog,” said MASA. “Standing between functionality and non-functionality, the triptych contains coded information, yet the information is kept secret from the viewer.”
Torres’ installation includes a number of art and design works, including an aluminium chair inspired by the concrete work of American artist Bruce Nauman, as well as monochrome painting works.
Established in 2018, MASA became known for its travelling exhibitions, including shows that included design luminaries such as Frida Escobedo in an empty modernist mansion in Mexico City as well as in a former post office underneath the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.
The photography is by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco unless otherwise noted.