Latin American Galleries Missing Out on Miami Beach Have Banded Together to Form Their Own Version of Art Basel in Mexico City

The event was spearheaded by the gallery kurimanzutto.

kurimanzutto's 2014 booth at the actual Art Basel in Basel. Photo: Courtesy Art Basel, MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG

First there was Art Basel. Then there was Art Basel in Hong Kong and Miami Beach. Now there’s Art Basel Mexico City—sort of.

With the cancellation of most major, in-person Miami Art Week fairs, including Art Basel, a group of 10 galleries in Mexico City are banding together for a scaled-down show at Casa Versalles, an early 20th century villa in Colonia Juárez in the center of Mexico City.

Each gallery at “OVR: Miami Beach Selections at Casa Versalles” will occupy one room of the 10-room house to present works that they would have shown at the Miami Beach Convention Center. They will also stage individual online viewing rooms (or OVRs) under the auspices of the Art Basel brand.

Wilfredio Prieto, La complicada situación a nivel mundial (2020). Image courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City.

Wilfredo Prieto, La complicada situación a nivel mundial (2020). Image courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City.

“We thought this is the right time to come together, and have a situation where our clients can see art and we can talk to them and have a sense of community at a moment where social distance” is the norm, said Monica Manzutto, co-founder of the gallery kurimanzutto, which spearheaded the event. All participants will be required to follow safety protocols and restrictions.

Ten percent of sales made during the event will be donated to the Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporáneo and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil.

Casa Versalles in Mexico City

Casa Versalles in Mexico City

The Casa Versailles initiative is “a fantastic, super generous gesture from all the galleries,” said Museo Tamayo director Magali Arriola, who curated last year’s “Meridians” section at Art Basel Miami Beach. “One of the best things about it is bringing everyone together, the galleries to support each other, as well as bringing collectors to the conversation.”

In addition to kurimanzutto, the group of Casa Versailles exhibitors includes: Curro, GAGAAgustina Ferreyra, Galerie Nordenhake, MAIA Contemporary, Proyectos Monclova, Labor, Galeria OMR, and Travesía cuatro.

Gabriel Rico, <i>Páramo, The Reunion II</i> (2020). Image courtesy the artist and Galeria OMR, Mexico City.

Gabriel Rico, Páramo, The Reunion II (2020). Image courtesy the artist and Galeria OMR, Mexico City.

The galleries have become acquainted with one another from popular local fairs such as Zona Maco. “It was really wonderful to have a ‘yes’ instantly from each one of the gallery owners that I called,” Manzutto says. “We hope that collectors will respond. Local culture is going through a major crisis in Mexico,” she says. “So we said ‘okay let’s all come together.'”

“More than any other fair or Basel edition,” adds Julia Villaseñor, kurimanzutto’s director of communications, Art Basel Miami Beach is “the place where the whole of Latin America and the US come together.” That’s why “It’s really important to close the year this way.”

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