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Melanie Smith, among others



Artforum at Sotheby's: Normal Exceptions

27 JULY 2021 • 5:00 PM EDT • NEW YORK

In partnership with Artforum, join Director of Kunstinstituut Melly Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy in conversation with President of Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo Eugenio López Alonso, Chief Curator of Museo Jumex Kit Hammonds and Artists Mario García Torres and Melanie Smith, as they celebrate contemporary art in Mexico over the past 20 years. Starting with a discussion of ‘Normal Exceptions’, a new exhibition presented at Museo Jumex, this event will explore questions of cultural identity and the Mexican diaspora, Mexico’s influence over artists’ practice, how Museo Jumex has helped foster emerging artists in Mexico, and the reception of Mexican art by the wider world, both past and present. The talk will provide a fascinating insight into the often overlooked ‘exceptions’ of Mexican art that deserve to be placed in the spotlight.


Melanie Smith, Artist

Melanie Smith was born in England in 1965. She lives and works between Mexico City and London. Her work, in diverse media, has reflected on the extended field of painting within the history of art and its entanglement with moving image. In earlier pieces she illustrates the idiosyncrasies of multitudes, chaos and aberrant forms within urbanism. The spiral is a recurring form of thought mode, working as a double helix that encompasses and constellates relationships between the city, body, archaeology, tragicomedy and nature. She is interested in the fragments that do not add up, like stories that do not have a beginning or an end, and productions behind the scenes that alude to political farse. Mostly, her work shatters any rational significance of production, as a way of thinking through contingent forms and being.

She has exhibited at numerous institutions including PS1 and MOMA, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Museo Tamayo, and MUCA Campus UNAM, Mexico City; Museo Amparo, Puebla; The Modern, Fort Worth; SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe. In 2011 she represented Mexico at the 54th Venice Biennale. A panoramic exhibition of her work was shown at Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, in 2014, travelling to the CAC, Vilnius and the Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam. In 2018 she was included in the Liverpool Biennial. Melanie Smith: Farce and Artifice is presented at MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in 2018, and travels to MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, UNAM, Mexico City, and Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico, 2019.