Mayans

Mayans

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Yet Another Museum

I doubt if I will ever see all of the museums in Mexico City... there are supposedly 150 of them... but on Wednesday I added another to my list of places visited. 

Busy, pedestrianized Moneda Street in the heart of the Historic Center runs from the Zócalo, the main plaza.  It is a raucous slice of inner city life with crowds of people and vendors hawking their wares at the top of their lungs.


A couple blocks down the street is the Church of Santa Inés which dates back to the year 1600.


Turn the corner onto Academia Street, and the former convent attached to the church is now a museum.


For the last 25 years, this 400 year old building has been a museum of contemporary art, the José Luis Cuevas Museum.


The Mexican artist José Luis Cuevas was a leading figure of the "Generación de la Ruptura" (Breakaway Generation) that challenged the muralist movement which has dominated Mexican art for the last century.  He led a controversial and scandalous life.  (One room in the museum is filled with self portraits of him with prostitutes.) 




Cuevas died just last month at the age of 83.

In 1992 he purchased the former convent, restored its colonial architecture, and opened it as a museum containing his private collection. As you enter the courtyard you see a 26 foot high statue entitled "La Giganta" (The Giantess).  It's the most impressive item in the museum.  (In my opinion, the only impressive item.)





A couple of galleries are devoted to Cuevas's collection of contemporary Latin American art.



Several galleries are devoted to the artwork of Cuevas, mostly drawings.







Cuevas is really not my cup of tea, but I will admit that he is better than some contemporary artists that I have seen.

6 comments:

  1. I wanted to see this place ever since I saw the first la Giganta statue in Guanajuato, and I was disappointed that the museum had just one. Did you notice the faces in the statue's knees?

    The artwork stills that you found remind me of Picasso and Dali, but his library of work is rather small. I read that he spent many of his later years in ill health, under the controlling thumb of his wife, who ruled over his affairs with an iron fist and forbade him from having contact with his daughters, who wanted to "free him" from her.

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    1. I was here on my last trip when Cuevas died, and his widow tried to keep his daughters from attending the memorial ceremony.
      I too was reminded of Picasso. My friend Alejandro considers him a second-rate artist who had connections in the art world.

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    2. Not a starving artist, at any rate.
      Dana Jennings

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    3. No, he seemed to do very well for himself.

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  2. And yes, I agree with you that it may well be impossible to see every museum in CDMX.

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    1. And since some of the museums deal with very specialized topics, I'm not sure that I would want to see every museum.

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