Arts & Culture
Gallery Guide: November’s Best Exhibitions in Mexico City
Your gallery guide to the best exhibitions for the month of November and some of them lasting straight through the winter. There's a lot to look at.

November’s Gallery Guide is Loaded: Here’s What You Need to See! 

Mexico City’s museums, galleries, and public forums light up for the winter season. These are some of the most important and interesting exhibitions you’ll see this winter. 

Arte en nuestro tiempo (Art in our time)
LS Gallery Polanco

Original works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Richard Hambleton, Jeff Koons and Brent Waden are being exhibited at LS Gallery as part of their 15th anniversary. A collaboration with Woodbery House Gallery in London, along with collector Andy Valmorbida, made the exhibit possible. Also on view, the permanent collection of the gallery includes no less than works by Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo and Arnaldo Coen.

Address: Enrique Ibsen 33, Polanco


Centro de la Imagen

* Through March 27, 2017

10,000 slides, 800 sound reels, more than 20 hours of 16mm film, plus 35mm and Techniscope photography, vintage documents and tables of yarn corresponding to the work of the Lilly Archive. Through a single word, the wixárika can represent, like a mirror, the secret visions of an invisible world, using them rather as symbols. This is Niérika, one of the simplest philosophies for understanding reality, it’s yet one of the most complex to translate. The incredible work of John and Colette Lilly, two psychonauts who traveled to 1960s Mexico to study the sacred and healing uses of Mexican ethnobotany.

Address: Plaza de la Ciudadela 2, Centro Histórico

Otto Dix: Violencia y pasión (Otto Dix. Violence and Passion)
National Museum of Art

* throughJanuary 15, 2017

Like no other painter, Otto Dix embodied in his biography and in his art the extremes of his century in Europe. Germany left a decisive mark on him. Its two world wars, the culture of the Weimar Republic and the political division after 1945 left him “both one affected and an observer.” The great realist took a critical stand against his time and testified in pictures that still shake viewers.

Address: Tacuba no. 8, Centro Histórico


El color de los dioses (The color of the gods)

Palacio de Bellas Artes

* Through January 8, 2017

The ancient Greek texts referred to the color of sculpture. In parallel, the historical texts from immediately after the conquest of Mexico also recorded the use of color in Mesoamerica. For example, Bernardino de Sahagún referred to the way in which a sculpture of the sun god was painted. A new exhibition the Palacio de Bellas Artes entitled “The Color of the Gods” highlights the importance of color in ancient art. In the end is an idyllic journey through the visual language of its authors – with implications for mythical past events.
Address: Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico


Con mil diablos a caballo / Victor Fosado (With a thousand devils on horseback: Victor Fosado)

Carrillo Gil Museum


* Through January 8, 2017

Not just a retrospective of the artist’s work, this exhibit also brings us closer to Fozado’s context and the artists who were part of his wide circle of friends and collaborators. A series of documents in conjunction with the work help to expose the new generational order that was beginning to permeate Mexico. Curated by Julian Cuisset, Guillermo Santamarina Angelica Gracia and Victor Fosado, the artist’s son, the show is an invaluable contribution to better understanding his work and time.

Address: Av. Revolución 1608, esquina Altavista, Mexico City


Nadie sabe, nadie supo / Livia Corona (Nobody Knows, Nobody knew / Livia Corona)

Parque Galería

* Through January 12, 2017

From the age of 21, Livia Corona began photographing Mexico with a documentary lens. The work consisted of walking the roads around various Mexican towns, where he captured often emblematic scenes of Mexican daily life. This new installation, Nadie sabe, nadie supo, includes a series of letter-size photographs and a single-channel video, focusing on the complex history of the conical silos found on farms throughout Mexico.

 Address: Puebla No. 170, Roma Norte


Javier Senosiain. Organic Architecture (Javier Senosiain. Organic Architecture)

Palacio de Bellas Artes – National Museum of Architecture

* From 9 September, 2016 through 12 February, 2017

Organic architecture or architectural organicism: it’s a philosophy of architecture seeking a harmony between human habitation and the natural world. Seeking always to understand and integrate with a site, buildings, furniture, and their surroundings are unified. Javier Senosiain’s architecture is always a discovery and, at the same time, a surprise. In relation to average architecture from the last 25 years it is, to say the least, inexplicable and unique.

Address: Palacio de Bellas Artes, Av. Juárez y Eje Central, Centro Histórico


Roger Ballen

PhotoMuseo Cuatro Caminos

* Through January 22, 2017

Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950. He lived in South Africa for some 30 years. There, he learned to explore territories – some decadent, some ghosts – of people living on the edges of madness, collections of foreign objects, and worlds closed to the habitual gaze. Social. As part of the museum’s first anniversary this exhibition promises to be extraordinary.

Address: Calzada Ingenieros Militares 77, col. Lomas de Sotelo, Naucalpan de Juárez


Graciela Iturbide: Avándaro

University Museum El Chopo

* Through December 10, 2016.

Part of the 45th anniversary of the Rock and Wheels Festival, the Museo Universitario del Chopo presents a series of photographs by Graciela Iturbide. Also on display are videos and documents about the decisive countercultural event of the 20th century. Many of the photos have not been seen in 45 years. The originally published these images as Avándaro (Editorial Diógenes, 1971), the first book of her work, with texts by the filmmaker, Luis Carrión.

Address: Doctor Enrique González Martínez 10, col. Sta. María la Ribera


El París de Toulouse-Lautrec. Impresos y carteles del MoMA  (The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec. MoMA prints and posters)

Palacio de Bellas Artes

* Through November 27, 2016

Exploring the passions of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, this exhibit includes more than 100 works of art including drawings, photographs, lithographs, oils and films. These make an appreciation for Parisian life only that much more apparent. Works come from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the exhibit arrives in Mexico City after multiple cities. 

Address: Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico


Arqueología: Biología de Anish Kapoor (Archeology, Biology by Anish Kapoor)


anish kapoor
* Through November 27, 2016

One of the most important and renowned sculptors of his time, this is the first major exhibit of Kapoors work in Latin America. Specially curated for this show, 23 pieces arrived by boat and occupy a space of more than 2,000 square meters. “Archeology, Biology” presents essentially a timeline of the artist’s career.

Address: Av. De Los Insurgentes sur No. 3000

The Five Most Beautiful Mexico City Libraries
For budget travelers, Mexico City libraries were always among the most attractive, free attractions to visit. Today, they're simply too inviting to pass up.
Mexico City Libraries

Chilangos may cherish their reputation for never reading, but Mexico City libraries present a very contrary picture. 

Though the internet makes lots more information available to lots more people, Mexico City libraries have simply not been supplanted. Charged with continually re-inventing themselves, and their places in the public imagination, one can still encounter eras gone by and great historical minds in a library as in few other places.

Knowledge, after all, belongs to everyone. Opening a book, reading it at a study, or just meeting in the silence of one these Mexico City libraries enhances concentration, and provides a welcome respite from everything going on out there in the world. 

Of all Mexico City libraries, the oldest were part of the church and one or another of its offshoot organizations. Among these was the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco, founded in the 1530s and surviving today as the Biblioteca José María Lafragua. Most of these ecclesiastical libraries were not truly open to the public, and Mexico had to wait for the  National Library of Mexico, inaugurated by Benito Juárez in 1867 to enjoy the benefits of a truly public library system.

The list below is intended to let you enjoy some of that system, too. 

José Vasconcelos Library

Mexico City Libraries

Opened just ten years ago, in 2006, the Vasconcelos is visited by thousands for the sheer spectacle of its innovative design. Graced by the iconic whale from artist, Gabriel Orozco, it’s always a good library for art and visual spectacle. The facade retains something of a colonial appearance, but for sheer scale, and jaw-dropping space, the interior must be experienced.

Address: Eje 1 Norte Mosqueta S / N, Buenavista


UNAM Central Library 

Mexico City Libraries

We’ve written a lot about it in these pages, but the UNAM library with the Juan O’Gorman murals remains one of the most outstanding of all Mexico City libraries. As a UNESCO site with some 428,000 volumes in the collection, it’s the biggest in Mexico, but lots of folks visit just to see the facade and the surrounding grounds. 

Address: Circuito Interior S / N, Coyoacán, Ciudad Universitaria


National Library of Mexico


Opened by Benito Juárez in 1867, there’s still a good one million books inside, today administered by the folks from UNAM. Originally located in the San Agustín church in the city center, the current building was opened in 1979. Geometric, and massive, it’s an extraordinary place to visit.

Address: Av. Universidad 3000, Coyocacan


Miguel Lerdo de Tejada Library


Specializing in economic materials, this collection of some 86,350 books and 114,852 journals is administered by the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit. Founded in 1928, it’s one of the cities true public art spectacles. Inside the main nave of the old Oratory of San Felipe Neri “El Nuevo,” the baroque façade outside is just the beginning. Inside, the murals are futuristic, and not to be missed.

Address: Av. República de el Salvador 49, Centro Histórico, col. Centro Histórico


Library of Congress of the Union


One of Centro’s truly outstanding historical buildings, for centuries it was the convent of the Clarisas from the 16th century. Today it’s something like a “Library of Congress” with a stunning collection of publications and artifacts, but also with a lush, deep, dark intellectual interior, that beckons from centuries past. 

Address: Tacuba 29, Centro Histórico

Photographs this page: Flickr – Creative Commons



Bad Girls of Tepito; The Photography of Anja Jensen
The Bad Girls of Tepito, Las Cabronas, offer more than a tough image. They're the hope and the success story of one of Mexico City's most famous neighborhoods.
bad girls

German photographer, Ana Jensen, shows that Tepito’s “Bad Girls” are more than just ladies from the ‘hood. 


Mexico City’s Tepito neighborhood has for a millennia history offered resistance, rebellion, and hope. Tenochtitlan relegated dissidents to Tepito’s crooked alleys. The “brave neighborhood,” even hundreds of years later, is still marginalized and bent on survival. Somehow residents seem to bear that history in the very DNA.

With a reputation for violence, deprivation, and overcrowding, some of the great characters of Mexican history have come from Tepito. The cradle of Mexican boxing, in the 1970s an important literary movement emerged in Tepito, and the neighborhood has contributed as much to the culture of the city and country as have many, much wealthier places.

Among all the stories of people whose hard work is performed with an enviable dignity, there are thousands of women who carry out similar work for their families. Resident Mayra Valenzuela Rojas remarked, “In Tepito there’s a matriarchy (…) Every woman has her own story. Each of us is a spark, but together we are lighting a candle for Tepito.”

German photographer, Anja Jensen, is currently exhibiting her work in a show called “Ciudadanas-Caminamos a oscuras” (Citizens-We Walk in the Dark). Having spent months in Tepito, she’s documented the women challenging the stereotypes of the neighborhood.

Jensen was assaulted and threatened, but she was also clothed and cared for by the women who opened their stories and lives to her. The result is a series photographs, “Las Cabronas de Tepito,” (Bad Girls of Tepito) a collective portrait of the matriarchy whose fervor makes the neighborhood better and regularly improves the lives of the people living there.

The photographs will be exhibited through February 12, 2017, as part of the Mexico-Germany Dual Year, at the German Pavilion on the Plaza Rio de Janeiro, in Roma Norte.

bad girls

Bad Girls anja-jensen