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09/05/2013

Mexico City's nascent 'museum row'

Render Museo Jumex (baja)
A couple of years ago, telecom tycoon and billionaire Carlos Slim inaugurated his $70 million Soumaya Museum, a glittering palace to house his personal collection. Some 16,000 hexagonal aluminum plates cover the 150-foot-tall building, reflecting light from all angles.

The museum, free to the public, was Slim’s gift to the city, and it has created some buzz in the art world. After all, it includes some Toulouse-Lautrecs, Picassos and Dalis, as well as works by Diego Rivera and Renoir. It displays Slim’s vast collection of castings of statues by Auguste Rodin, the renowned French sculptor. Here’s a Wall Street Journal story about that museum.

Now comes news that a new museum will open right next to the Soumaya in the capital’s Polanco district . It is a five-story museum housing the Jumex Collection, the largest private contemporary arts collection in Latin America. Its inauguration is scheduled for Nov. 19. It is full of stark, geometric lines, distinct to the curvy Soumaya Museum.

Like the Soumaya, the Jumex Collection will display the collection of a business tycoon, in this case the food and juice magnate Eugenio Lopez, head of Grupo Jumex.

Lopez has collected 2,600 pieces, mostly contemporary art from the 1990s to the present, and much of it will be on display, including works by Tacita Dean, Olafur Eliasson, Martin Kippenberger and Bruce Nauman.

The museum will display an important group of Mexican contemporary artists, and be the site of six exhibitions per year.

The artist’s rendering above comes from the firm of David Chipperfield, the knighted British architect . Chipperfield’s firm designed the reconstruction of Berlin’s Neues Museum, and it’s also done the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, and designed a cultural center in Arendal, Norway. In the rendering above, you see the Soumaya Museum (shaped almost like a nuclear cooling tower) behind the Jumex.

Might a third museum be in the offing, making a true “museum row”?

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pink schnoid

Jumex should focus on making a decent product instead of displaying "art"....their juice is pure painted sugar water, pretty much undrinkable

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Tim

This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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