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Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico

November 2012 to February 2013 at the Mexican Cultural Institute

The Embassy of Mexico's Cultural Institute is thrilled to partner with Bank of America to present Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico. Open from November 9th through March 2nd, the exhibition finds at its core the twenty hand-pulled photogravures comprising Paul Strand's seminal 1933 Mexican Portfolio. Further explorations of Mexico come from renowned photographers Edward Weston, Wayne Miller, and Aaron Siskind, among others. The collection's diverse array of artists helps capture the sociopolitical realities, local architecture, and startling landscapes of 20th century Mexico through a patently American lens.

The accompanying exhibit Visions of Mexico: The Photography of Hugo Brehme presents 40 works from Hugo Brehme on loan from the Throckmorton Gallery in New York City. A German émigré and popular postcard photographer, Brehme is perhaps best known for his hand-colored vintage photographs, which capture a Mexico as vibrant as it is timeless. Brehme's 20th century Mexico provides thoughtful contrast for La Frontera, a work-in-progress by NYC-based photographer Stefan Falke that chronicles modern-day artists along the US-Mexico border.

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The Mexican Cultural Institute
2829 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
Gallery Hours: 10-6pm M-F, 12-4pm Sat
Free Admission

Hina/Jaina: On the Threshold of the Mayan Underworld

May 16th - September 22nd 2012 At the Mexican Cultural Institute


The man-made island of Jaina, off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the State of Campeche, was an extremely important Mayan ritual and religious site in the Classic Period (600 - 900 AD). This exhibition presents a selection of over 50 'Jaina style' figurines discovered on the island that depict various aspects of Mayan cosmology, religious beliefs and society, accompanied by a small selection of vessels and objects. Together, they provide fascinating insight into one of Mexico's most intriguing ancient civilizations. Organized in collaboration with Mexico's National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and its regional Campeche Center, this display celebrates the Maya's incredible cultural and artistic legacy in Mexico.
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Mexican Cultural Institute
2829 16th Street NW DC
10 - 6pm M-F, 12 - 4pm Sat

Free Admission

Mexico: Expected/Unexpected

June 9th - August 12th 2012 At the American University Katzen Arts Center


This exhibition of selected works from the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection attempts to explore Mexican contemporary art from a point of view that simultaneously underlines the intense dialogue with its canonical history and the international landscape to which it also belongs. No artist is isolated from the global dynamics that fuel the contemporary art of our time. The Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection includes not only impressive examples by today's leading Mexican artists, but also their peers from Latin America, Europe, and the United States.

From the poetic to the political, Mexico: Expected/Unexpected showcases the key figures of the Mexican contemporary art scene, including Francis Alys, 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.

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1001 Faces of Mexico

March 1st - May 5th 2012 at the Mexican Cultural Institute


Masks have been an integral part of the rituals and ceremonies of societies all over the world and this exhibition, curated by folk expert Marta Turok, features over 140 masks accompanied by a selection of photographs, figurines, costumes and musical instruments that reflect the regional traditions, religious rituals and celebrations of the indigenous populations in Mexico from the Ruth D. Lechuga Collection. Together, they provide a salient example of the diversity and richness of Mexican culture.

A prodigious collector of folk art, Dr. Lechuga (1920-2004) travelled around the country for fifty years collecting over 10,000 pieces, including 1,200 masks, which constitute one of the most important Folk Art collections in Mexico. Upon her death, Lechuga donated her collection to the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, and we are pleased to partner with them to exhibit a selection of her masks at the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Vochol: Huichol Art on Wheels

March 21st - May 6th 2012 at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian


The National Museum of the American Indian welcomes the 1990s Volkswagen Beetle named "Vochol", decorated by indigenous craftsmen from the Huichol (Wixaritari) communities of Nayarit and Jalisco, Mexico, using more than 2 million glass beads and fabric. This one-of-a-kind vehicle is presented in collaboration with the Association of Friends of the Museo de Arte Popular and the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City, the Embassy of Mexico and the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Frida Kahlo: Her Photographs

February 23rd - March 25th 2012 at Artisphere in Arlington, VA


Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)'s extraordinary life and iconic biographical paintings have earned her international renown in the world of modern art. Upon Kahlo's death in 1954, more than 6,500 personal photographs and items belonging to her and husband/artist Diego Rivera were sealed and put in storage. For more than half a century this great collection of personal memorabilia remained hidden from the public. In 2007 this collection was opened and Mexican photographer and curator Pablo Ortiz Monasterio inventoried and catalogued 259 images to create the Frida Kahlo: Her Photos exhibition.

These images reveal a little-known side of the artist and lifelong resident of Coyoacán, a Mexico City suburb and Arlington, Virginia's sister city. The collection of photographs in this exhibition reflect Kahlo's tastes and interests, the experiences she shared with those close to her, and her complicated, but also thrilling, personal life. Viewers get an insider's look, not only through who was behind the camera, in front of the lens or the anonymous nature of some of the work but also through the annotated writing found on the back of many of the photographs.

From family pictures and snapshots taken with lovers to images that reveal relationships with Russian Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky and American photographers Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, artist Georgia O'Keefe and actress Dolores del Rio, this exhibition provides a glimpse into Kahlo as never seen before.

New York: Latin American and Spanish Artists in the City

February 16th - May 20th 2012 At the OAS Museum


Latino superheroes disguised as Spiderman, Green Lantern and Batman will be at AMA showcasing immeasurable life and labor of their day to day lives for the good of others. This, along with works dealing with urbanity, mobility, and migration are set in a city that is the ultimate urban laboratory, where experiences and cultures converge, fostering the exchange of ideas. Included photography, video, drawing, sculpture, and mixed - media work by young, outstanding Latin American and Spanish artists residing in New York City.

The exhibition commemorates artistic exchange and innovative communication channels between visual artists from vboth sides of the pond and opposite hemispheres who share the same language, and the same city.