March 4, 2011 - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - Mexico: Expected/Unexpected
March 4, 2011

Mexico: Expected/Unexpected

Mexico: Expected/Unexpected

Exhibition features works by Mexican and international contemporary artists in its first U.S. presentation

Through May 15, 2011

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) presents Mexico: Expected/Unexpected, an exhibition featuring artworks selected from CIAC (the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection), one of Mexico’s most comprehensive and dynamic contemporary art collections.

In its first U.S. presentation after a European tour, Mexico: Expected/Unexpected is presented jointly between MCASD and the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach. The collaboration broadens the geographic reach of the collection, making it accessible to visitors from the U.S.-Mexico border to the greater Los Angeles area.

Featuring expressive artworks that overcome the concept of “Mexican-ness” as a fixed category, the Coppel Collection surprises the viewer in unexpected ways, defying the stereotypes typically associated with Mexico and with Mexican art. Mexico: Expected/Unexpected proposes that Mexican contemporary art, like the global culture to which it responds, is unstable, rich, complex, unpredictable, and constantly shifting between tradition and innovation.

The exhibition reveals how the Isabel and Agustin Coppel Collection champions contemporary art nationally and internationally, while it consistently interrogates the fundamental differences between those two categories.

Hugh M. Davies, The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD, states, “This exhibition reformulates the relationship between international contemporary discourse and art practitioners in Mexico and Latin America. It is intended to upend expectations about what Mexican art is today.”

The works in Mexico: Expected/Unexpected are gathered around thematic lines such as poetics of craftsmanship, the relationship between city and nature, structural affinities, the iconography of nationalism, imagery of death and mortality, constructive logic, archival accumulation and grouping, and the precariousness of everyday life.

From the poetic to the political, Mexico: Expected/Unexpected showcases the key figures of the Mexican contemporary art scene, including Francis Alÿs, Carlos Amorales, Iñaki Bonillas, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jorge Méndez Blake, Gabriel Orozco, Damián Ortega, Pedro Reyes, and Melanie Smith. The exhibition contextualizes these artists in relation to noted historical international practitioners, such as Lygia Clark, William Eggleston, Gordon Matta Clark, Ana Mendieta, and Helio Oiticica. Mexico: Expected/Unexpected goes one step further to incorporate the work of cutting-edge international artists working today who share artistic sensibilities and working methods such as Lothar Baumgarten, Maurizio Cattelan, Kendell Geers, Marepe, Rivane Neuenschwander, and Tatiana Trouvé.

A full-color catalogue documenting both exhibitions with essays by original Maison Rouge exhibition curators Carlos Basualdo and Monica Amor, among others, will be available.


Mexico: Expected/Unexpected is organized by CIAC with support from La Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, México, and the Consulado General de México in San Diego and Los Angeles. The exhibition is jointly presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) and at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, California.

Related programs at MCASD are supported by grants from The James Irvine Foundation Arts Innovation Fund, the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

At MOLAA, funding for the exhibition is provided by the Robert Gumbiner Foundation, Arts Council for Long Beach, City of Long Beach, and the MOLAA Annual Exhibition Fund.

Mexico: Expected / Unexpected was originally curated by Mónica Amor with project advisor Carlos Basualdo for the Maison Rouge, Paris (2008). The MCASD and MOLAA installations are the result of a curatorial dialogue between Mireya Escalante and Ana Belén Lezana (CIAC), Lucía Sanromán (MCASD) and Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Idurre Alonso (MOLAA).

Mexico: Expected/Unexpected
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Share - Mexico: Expected/Unexpected
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York