Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category
Like a Mayan pyramid, the Anahuacalli Museum rises from a dense, old neighborhood in the southern environs of Mexico City, a good 1.5-hour taxi ride from your next destination (unless it’s Frida Kahlo’s house and collection a short distance away). Anahuacalli houses Diego Rivera’s collection of pre-Hispanic art and artifacts in glorious display cases spread across mostly small dark rooms made of volcanic stone with mosaicked stone ceilings (and some floors) that weave together symbols of the Teotihuacan culture with the occasional hammer and sickle. Rivera with his friend, the architect and muralist, Juan O’Gorman conceived of the design, although Rivera didn’t live to see its completion. This spring, Kurimanzutto gallery hosted an exhibition of British artist Sarah Lucas’s bodily assemblages made of mostly nylon pantyhose and cotton stuffing contorted and placed on pedestals of stacked adobe bricks, all sourced in Mexico. It’s hard to imagine anything looking bad in Anahuacalli—the name means “House of Energy,” and the feeling of walking through its many halls as you ascend its four floors is one of effervescence met with an air of solemnity.
The night before my trip to Instituto Inhotim, I flew into Belo Horizonte, the nearest city in the southeastern region of Brazil known as Minas Gerais. The next morning’s journey southward began on a big highway that led to small windy, dusty streets through the town of Brumadinho, to the gates of a former farm now home to Brazil’s largest contemporary art sculpture park-cum-botanical garden. Although normally packed with visitors on the weekends, Inhotim was quiet—it was Mother’s Day. Good for me because there was lots to see. I met my guide Juliana at the visitors center just before 10 AM with the stated desire to see everything. She looked doubtful, but we would try. We set off with a quick pace over a small bridge on a green lake dotted with white swans. I’m not too familiar with the indigenous natural landscape of Brazil (it was only my second trip), but as much as it was beautiful, I could tell this was likely not natural. Indeed, nothing about Inhotim is quite natural, and that is just the beauty of it.