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Mexico City Art Comes to Rockefeller Center

May 24, 2022

Mexico City-based exhibition platform MASA recently opened its first New York exhibition on May 5, in the former federal post office on the Rink Level and Center Plaza of Rockefeller Center.

Presenting new functional work by Mexico-based and Mexican artists, architects, and designers, alongside significant historical works that complicate and extend the Mexican canon, “Intervención/Intersección” also features a public installation by Mexican artist Pia Camil.

Along the flagpoles surrounding The Rink, Camil’s site-specific artwork “Saca Tus Trapos Al Sol” (“Air Out Your Dirty Laundry”) flies a multi-strand clothesline of over 700 items of used clothing donated by Mexico City residents, creating a community portrait of personal expression and care.

Founded in Mexico City in 2018, MASA has established itself as an unconventional gallery at the intersection of design and art. For their exhibition at Rockefeller Center, curated by ongoing collaborator Mexico City-based curator and writer Su Wu, MASA draws on the iconic site’s long history of creative and intellectual exchange between Mexico and the United States.

Paired with newly commissioned work made in Mexico, “Intervención/Intersección” issues a challenge to conventional understandings of the public and monumental established by the Mexican masters, instead showcasing how work of intimacy, process, and personal history might find rousing public expression in both design and art.

Among the works being shown are a bench made of overflowing chain links by architect Frida Escobedo that reconfigures a material of bondage into an object of support; hammered copper works by designer Brian Thoreen made in the state of Michoacan that lend cosmic form to traditional technique; and “Empathy For Other Creatures,” a new series of seesaws intervened by one of Latin America’s leading conceptual artists, Miguel Calderón, that create a new center of balance.

MASA also presents work by emerging Mexican designers, some exhibiting for the first time in the United States. Xavier Loránd transforms sound waves from his home state of Veracruz into a dimensional and abstracted folding screen that attaches synesthetic memory to the classic room divider. The design project MARROW, founded in 2021 by Rafa Prieto and Loup Sarion, transforms bone remnants lovingly collected after dinner parties into glowing lamps and a meditation on discard and aesthetic activation.

Taken together, the contemporary and historical works in “Intervención/Intersección” extend the conversation about place, friendship, and creative porosity explored in the inaugural MASA exhibition in Mexico City in 2019, also curated by Su Wu. MASA’s exhibition identifies enduring moments of crossed paths, crossed wires, and star-crossed lives that transcended borders and citizenship, in the objects that entangle where we come from and where we have chosen to be.

Installations on the Flagpoles and Center Plaza:
Dates: May 4 – June 10
Location: Rockefeller Center – Flagpoles at The Rink, and Center Plaza

Installations in the Former Post Office:
Dates: May 5 – June 24
Location: Rockefeller Center – 610 5th Ave at Rink Level”

For more information, visit mmaassaa.com and rockefellercenter.com.

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