By Duncan Taylor, UK Ambassador to Mexico
The 2015 Dual Year (United Kingdom in Mexico and Mexico in the UK) has taken off with a series of exhibitions by first-class contemporary British artists.
Throughout history, several British artists have developed a deep relationship with Mexico. In the 1940s, Edward James came to design and build a surrealist park, known as Las Pozas Xilitla in the state of San Luis Potosi which attracts hundreds of visitors each year. Meanwhile, Leonora Carrington found in Mexico a home that greatly appealed to her artistic freedom. From the bohemian Roma borough accompanied by her dog Yeti, her surrealist work came to life.
This year presents a new opportunity to strengthen our relationship in art and culture. From the beginning of 2015 visual arts have shown us yet another example of the vitality and richness of the cultural exchange between our two countries. The art communities and institutions we share maintain the longstanding cultural bond between us and reinvent it at the same time. It is the initiatives of these artists and professionals that created the force for the UK and Mexico to integrate into the universal culture of the 21st century.
I especially want to acknowledge the professionalism of Mexican museum institutions. In many Mexican museums, their curators and historians have trained in the UK. This certainly helps explain the interest and generosity with which these entities they have opened their doors in 2015 to our artists.
The museums listed below are just a few of the institutions with exhibitions related to the UK this year:
- Alameda Art Laboratory
- The National Art Museum
- The Modern Art Museum
- Casa Luis Barragán
- The Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum
- The Experimental Museum El Eco
- The University Contemporary Art Museum
- Fundación Jumex Museum
- The Contemporary Art Museum of Monterrey
- Franz Mayer Museum
Michael Landy’s kinetic sculptures, which make for a contemporary interpretation of the biblical themes of passion, pain and faith, have enjoyed great success and popularity in the Colegio de San Ildefonso (a major gallery and historic building in the centre of Mexico City) since last November. The exhibition is a collaborative project between this Mexican Museum, the British Council and the National Gallery in London.
Laure Provost, the Franco-British artist and winner of the 2013 Turner Prize, was recently exhibited in Alameda Art Laboratory in the centre of Mexico’s capital city. This young artist, who recognised as a figure of European conceptual art, presented a series of videos, installations and objects that opened the door to memory and reflection.
Later this month the Rufino Tamayo Museum will hold the first retrospective in Mexico of British Pioneering Conceptual Artist Stephen Willats. Willats is a strong advocate of the social function of art.Also, towards the end of this month, Casa Luis Barragán and the Experimental Museum El Eco, will receive the works of another Turner Prize Winner, Simon Starling who will display his series, Premio Parts, daguerreotypes and video – a result of his research investigations. The video made by Starling tells the story of the historical links between our artistic communities: the Henry Moore mural painted in the Experimental Museum El Eco in the early 1950s.
Mexico has become the adopted home of many British artists including Joy Laville, Brian Nissen and Melanie Smith, to name just a few and this Dual Year pays homage to their presence and extraordinary work in building cultural bridges between our two countries.
Translated from: http://www.excelsior.com.mx/opinion/london-eye/2015/01/19/1003384