A performance of Geoffrey Farmer’s PlantProcession (2017), at Material’s 2017 edition as part of IMMATERIAL, curated by Michelangelo Miccolis.


Big changes are afoot for Material, the venturesome Mexico City art fair that turns five next year. For the upcoming edition, it is decamping from the Expo Reforma convention hall—its home of the past two years—and heading to Frontón México, an Art Deco structure that dates back to 1929. The site has recently undergone major renovations and currently plays host to matches of the ferociously high-speed game jai alai. “There’s a real sense of Mexico City’s history there,” Brett Schutz, a co-founder of Material, who now runs it as creative director, told me ARTnews. “It’s going to be a huge step up for us in terms of experience.”

Material is also enlarging its exhibitor list, shifting from about 50 presenters last year to 75 for 2018. Among the galleries participating for the first time at Material, which next year runs February 8 through 11 (concurrently with the older and more established Zona Maco, as usual), are Stockholm’s Andréhn-Schiptjenko, New York’s Callicoon Fine Arts, Paris’s Gaudel de Stampa, and Berlin’s Supportico Lopez. They hail from 18 countries in total, and will show alongside Mexico City outfits like Lulu, Labor, and joségarcía ,mx.

As is Material’s wont, there are some intriguing plans in the works, like the second edition of a performance program organized by Michelangelo Miccolis titled IMMATERIAL that will feature durational works by Maria Hassabi and Mårten Spångberg. There will also be a presentation by the beloved, scrappy New York bar Beverly’s, a stalwart Material collaborator. “Of course, Material wouldn’t be Material without a special project by our favorite art bar, Beverly’s,” Schultz said. “This time they’re going to take over one of the locker rooms at the Frontón México. It’s going to be this really intimate, backstage kind of experience where they’ve got carte blanche to do their thing as only they know how.” (He added, “Our opening night party is going to be insane.”)

The Mexico City firm APRDELESP is handling architectural duties for a third time, and Schultz said, “What we’ve got planned is something I think I can safely say no one has ever seen in a fair before.”

Material 2018 arrives in the wake of a major earthquake in Central Mexico in September that resulted in the deaths of more than 350 and widespread damage, and Schultz championed the way that his colleagues and fellow Mexico City residents have dealt with the tragedy. “It affected a lot of us in the contemporary art community both directly and indirectly, but it also brought us together in an unprecedented way,” Schultz said. “This city has an indomitable spirit; it never ceases to amaze me. We also felt a really warm and encouraging response from galleries abroad too.”

Over the past decade, some fairs have expanded in much the same way that their galleries have, with Untitled and NADA moving beyond Miami and the MCH Group, which owns Art Basel, snapping up regional fairs. But Schultz said that Material has no plans to alight in other cities at the moment. “For now, our focus is on Mexico City,” he said. “There’s a lot more work that needs to be done here, not only in terms of continuing to strengthen the fair but also in terms of strengthening Mexico City’s contemporary art community in general. In a lot of ways, I think the pendulum has swung as far toward globalization as the market can handle. Now I think it’s time to think seriously about what more we can be doing where we live.”

The full list of exhibitors follows below.

315 Gallery, Brooklyn
ALMANAQUE Fotográfica, Mexico City
Alter Space, San Francisco
Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm
Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo
Arredondo \ Arozarena, Mexico City
Breve, Mexico City
BWSMX, Mexico City
Callicoon Fine Arts, NYC
Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, NYC
Chez Mohamed, Asnieres-Sur-Seine, France / Taroudant, Moroccco
Crèvecœur, Paris
Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels
David Castillo Gallery, Miami
Deli Gallery, NYC
eitoeiko, Tokyo
Emma Gray HQ, Los Angeles
Et al., San Francisco
François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles
Future Gallery, Berlin
Galería Agustina Ferreyra LLC, Mexico City / San Juan
Galería Alegría, Madrid
Galería Alterna, Mexico City
Galerie Escougnou-Cetraro, Paris
Gallery Luisotti, Los Angeles
Gaudel de Stampa, Paris
Gianni Manhattan, Vienna
Good Weather, North Little Rock, Arkansas
Hannah Barry Gallery / Bold Tendencies, London
joségarcía ,mx, Mexico City
LABOR, Mexico City
Lefebvre et Fils, Paris
Lodos, Mexico City
ltd los angeles, Los Angeles
MARSO, Mexico City
Neon Parc, Melbourne
Projet Pangée, Montreal
R/SF Projects, San Francisco
Roberto Paradise, San Juan
Rolando Anselmi, Berlin
Sapar Contemporary, NYC
SKETCH, Bogotá
Sultana, Paris
Supportico Lopez, Berlin
The Pill, Istanbul
The Pit, Los Angeles
Upfor, Portland

AA/LA, Los Angeles
Annka Kultys Gallery, London
City Limits, Oakland
Ed Video, Guelph, Canada
Field Contemporary, Vancouver
Galleria Macca, Sardinia, Italy
Harborview and Pole, San Pedro, California
in lieu, Los Angeles
Incontemporary, Monterrey
Janet40, Mexico City
JAUS, Los Angeles
Lulu, Mexico City
M23, NYC
MAUVE, Vienna
Montez Press, London
Motel, NYC
MUU, Helsinki
No Conformism, Lausanne, Switzerland
Pioneer Works, Brooklyn
Sans titre (2016), Paris
Satélite, Queretaro, Mexico
Syndicate, Cologne
Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver
Williamson | Knight, Portland


Arsenal Contemporary, NYC
Beverly’s, NYC