On November 18, in celebration of the museums tenth anniversary, Museo Jumex
opened Everything Gets Lighter guest curated by Lisa Phillips, the Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. The exhibition features works from the Colección Jumex from 66 international artists whose explorations and poetic evocations of light and lightness offer a counterweight to the existential threats that surround us today.
The exhibitions title is inspired by the poem Everyone Gets Lighter by the celebrated late artist John Giorno, who read his poetry at the Fundación Jumex in Ecatepec two decades ago. Giornos work has been lauded over the decades for its powerful but delicate approach to the complexities of mortal existence and his embrace of the luminosity and renewal that come with the experience of letting go.
At the moment our world is under enormous pressure, but we continue to take solace in the healing power of light and in the recognition of the ultimate impermanence and immateriality of life, said Phillips. The artists in this show have given us plenty to ponder, from experiments in pure light to meditations on reflections, shadows and luminosity to explorations of weightlessness, levitation, airiness, and immateriality. Light and lightness are also powerful elemental forces of spiritual transcendence, clarity, renewal, and rebirth.
Everything Gets Lighter presents works created from 1964 to 2000 by artists who take different approaches to light sometimes as a subject and medium in and of itself. Among the earliest works in the exhibition is the 1964 monument for V. Tatlin by American artist Dan Flavin, who merged his deep connections to observations of light in nature with his intellectual pursuit of dematerialized minimalism. Works representing the California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s include significant pieces by James Turrell, who called upon his background in perceptual psychology to explore light as an object that has volume in spite of its immateriality, and Mary Corse, whose subtly gestural and precisely geometric minimalist canvases employ acrylic paint mixed with microspheres that interact with light differently depending on the viewers physical position in relation to the work.
Artists whose works can be characterized as light in the sense of weightlessness include Alan Saret, a contemporary of Turrells, who starting in the 1960s used delicate tangles of wire to fashion both discrete sculptures and entire environments that are lyrical meditations on order and chaos. Addressing the association of lightness with the feminine, Leonor Antunes has manipulated space, material, light, and texture to create transversal histories, acknowledging other women artists who have been obscured by history. Evoking the passage of time and the inevitable decay of all matter, Vik Muniz recreates the image of Tony Smiths, minimalist icon, Die, a steel cube made in 1962, using only dust.
The use of found materials, the discarded and everyday, is a form of recycling that repurposes what exists to create something new. This is a form of getting lighter. Several artists in the exhibition from Abraham Cruzvillegas, Piotr Uklanski, Robert Rauschenberg, and Pia Camil take this approach, redeeming the cast off and everyday objects as things with great histories and unrecognized beauty.
Other artists use light to broadcast their textual messages from Jenny Holzer to Tracy Emin, Jack Pierson to Ugo Rondinone.
Among other artists included in the exhibition are Fernanda Gomes, Gerhard Richter, Tacita Dean, Richard Tuttle, Ernesto Neto, Gabriel Orozco, John Giorno, John Chamberlain, Pedro Reyes, Mauricio Cattelan, Damián Ortega, Gabriel Kuri, Pia Camil, Félix González-Torres, Bas Jan Ader, Ana Mendieta, Damien Hirst, Ugo Rondinone, and Jeff Koons.
As a special feature for this exhibition, Museo Jumex will present Waterfall (1998), a large-scale sculpture by Olafur Eliasson, in the museums Plaza, presented for the first time.
A Decade Dedicated to Contemporary Art
Created by philanthropist, art collector, and Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo president Eugenio López Alonso, as the main platform of the Foundation, Museo Jumex has achieved international recognition for its dual mission of bringing works of renowned international artists to Mexico for the first time and presenting the work of todays Mexican and Latin American artists.
Over the past decade, Museo Jumex has organized and presented nearly 100 exhibitions and offered robust public programming to engage with and attract millions of visitors. Notable exhibitions have included Cy Twombly: Paradise (2014); Calder: Discipline of the Dance (2015); Andy Warhol: Dark Star (2017); Memories Of Underdevelopment: Art and the Decolonial Turn in Latin America, 1960-1985 (2018); Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the Object in the Work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, Even (2019); Sofía Táboas: Thermal Range (2021); Urs Fischer: Lovers (2022); Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts (2023); and Gabriel Kuri: Forecast (2023). Museo Jumex has also organized exhibitions dedicated to the work of John Baldessari, Lina Bo Bardi, Ulises Carrión, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Gertrud Goldschmidt (Gego), Xavier Le Roy, Philippe Parreno, Walid Raad, Robert Ryman, James Turrell, and Franz Erhard Walther, among others.
Monumental art installations presented on the museums public plaza have included Urs Fischers monumental Lovers (2022), Gonzalo Lebrijas Breve Historia del Tiempo (Brief History of Time) (2020), and Seated Ballerina (2019) by Jeff Koons. Projects including Fritz Haeg & Nils Norman: Proposals for a Plaza; Rirkrit Tiravanija: UFO (Universal Fantastic Occupation) and Michael Lin: Mariposa B1-09 have provided space for public interaction and participation.
As part of its core mission to bring contemporary art to the public, Museo Jumexs exhibitions are accompanied by public, community, and educational programs in the building and offsite. Programs include workshops, lectures, artist-led talks and exhibition tours, symposiums, family activities, guided tours for schools and general audiences, volunteer outreach initiatives, and digital projects reaching more than 5,000 people a year.
Since 2013, Museo Jumex has collaborated globally with cultural organizations, including Dia Art Foundation, Hammer Museum, LACMA, MALBA Colección Costantini, Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), MoMA, MoMA PS1, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the Walker Art Center.
Lisa Phillips has been the Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum since 1999. During her tenure she has dramatically expanded the Museum, its board, staff, attendance, and budget, and continues to diversify its leadership and audience. Previously Phillips was a curator at the Whitney Museum, where she organized mid-career surveys of Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, and Terry Winters, as well as thematic exhibitions, including High Styles: 20th Century American Design (1985); Image World: Art and Media Culture (1989); Beat Culture and the New America (1995); and The American Century (1999); among many others. She has authored over thirty books, lectured extensively around the world, was on the Fulbright Review Committee, and is a visiting critic at Yale University. She has been named a Top New Yorker by New York Magazine, Top 100 Business Women of the Year by Crains, and Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.
Museo Jumex, Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneos main platform, opened its doors to the public in November 2013 as an institution devoted to contemporary art. Its aim is not only to serve a broad and diverse public, but also to be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation in the arts. Through its exhibitions, publications, research, and public programs, Museo Jumex familiarizes audiences with the concepts and contexts that inform current art practice. Through the use of critical and pedagogical tools, the museums educational programs further the institutions commitment to build links between contemporary art and the public.