BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Galeria OMR – Mexico City

Mexico City’s advocate for modern artistic tendencies and international contemporary art

Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015
Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015

Mexico City is a truly magical place. A city that's rich in culture yet unfairly, gets a bad rap because, as a whole, Mexico still doesn't have the best reputation. A main reason for this is the country's drug problem which is a media constant, as well as the US's perpetual stream of racist stereotypes which, to this day, are still deeply embedded in global pop culture. However, Mexico City is continually rising above the challenges and stereotypes to become a booming city, where culture spills out at every corner and where the art scene has had an important part in shaping its cultural center.

Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015
Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015
Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015
Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015

Galeria OMR is one of the institutions that enriches the city's cultural topography just through its existence. Founded by Patricia Ortiz Monasterio and Jaime Riestra in 1983, the gallery has always made a point of representing mixed media artists that connect and tap into a larger field of reference. Its broad spectrum includes prominent painters, sculptors, and photographers — both Mexican and internationally renowned. Young, dynamic artists play an important role in the gallery's portfolio as well. Speaking with OMR’s director, Cristobal Riestra, he tells me that “the city is a magnet for cultural productivity. Sure it's a bit dangerous but not more than any other megalopolis. The country however, is going through a very rough period to say the least. But any moment of crisis also represents an opportunity. In terms of art practice and the market, this opportunity makes Mexico very interesting”. Mexico has always had a rich history of cultural production, which tends to be overlooked when naming the country's assets. Riestra says “With the current establishment and mainstream, there is a definite focus towards the marginal and development communities such as Mexico. The 'scene' is looking this way, whether for producing or exhibiting, D.F. presents a true and interesting alternative”.

The gallery is situated in the heart of the Roma district and showcases artists that work through a variety of media. The neighborhood is filled with like minded people and small boutiques and galleries jostling for space on the tree-lined street. “Whether dialoguing with the spatial, emotional or socio-political, the criteria we look for in artists are: creativity, diligence, quality, uniqueness and original thought”. Cristobal studied product design and entered into the gallery with “the goal of assisting the artists' studios in the production in terms of both works and exhibitions. My studies gave me some sensibility towards reading and writing in formal languages, but it it's definitely the day-to-day experience where you become articulate and develop your eye”. An eye that's helped develop OMR Proyectos “the four stories 1940’s house which was converted to a project space to function as an open forum, which includes an art book and edition shop, a double height exhibition space and a research library and studio”.

Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015
Galeria OMR installation at Art Basel 2015

OMR is currently undergoing an exciting generational transition. Next year will see a move into a new, beautiful space and the gallery directors are planning a more active exhibition program with a “larger, continuous presence at international art fairs”, a new roster of artists (both emerging and established), and the beginning of the gallery's social impact agenda. Fresh things ahead not only for the city., but also Galeria OMR. Book those flights, there's never been to a better time to soak up all that Mexico City has to offer.

Liv Fleischhacker

Liv Fleischhacker is a freelance writer based in Berlin. Her favorite topics include art, design and food.

All images courtesy Galeria OMR, Mexico City

More Information on Galeria OMR

Galleries (40)

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Gianni Manhattan - Vienna, Austria

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Misako & Rosen — Tokyo, Japan

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Tiwani Contemporary – London, Great Britain

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Frutta Gallery — Rome, Italy

Understanding Tradition Without Hesitating to Break It

Contemporary Fine Arts – Berlin, Germany

From West to East and Back Again: a Berlin Institution That’s Made Its Mark

Bo Bjerggaard – Copenhagen, Denmark

Showcasing Figurative Painting With a Side of Communal Spirit

Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery – Paris, France

The Parisian gallery creating a home for Japanese artists in the European art market.

Blindspot Gallery — Hong Kong, China

Throwing a Spotlight on Local Artists

Vane – Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain

The Not-for-profit Space Offering Context And Critique In Newcastle

H’art Gallery — Bucharest, Romania

One of Bucharest’s Oldest Private-Run Galleries

LambdaLambda Lambda – Pristina, Kosovo

Mastering the Language in the Kosovan Capital

Deák Erika Galéria – Budapest, Hungary

Beyond Budapest’s Baths

The Breeder Gallery – Athens, Greece

Breeding New Forms in Athens

Tim Van Laere Gallery – Antwerp, Belgium

An autonomous gallery representing both upcoming and well-established artists

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler – Berlin, Germany

One of the most cutting-edge galleries in Berlin

Galerie Fons Welters – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Doorway to Amsterdam’s Contemporary Art

Bosse & Baum – London, United Kingdom

Ambitious perspectives in Peckham

TM51 – Oslo, Norway

Three Galleries in One – Oslo’s Most Accessible Space

mfc-michèle didier – Paris, France

A Space that Reflects the Artistic Discipline

V1 Gallery – Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenging the Boundaries of Art

Upstream Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tackling the Shift Between the Analog and Digital in a Post Internet World

Galerie Forsblom – Helsinki, Finland

Bringing international contemporary art to the Finnish capital

The Journal Gallery – New York, USA

Saving New York from Becoming a Sale-Focused Gallery Wasteland

Peres Projects – Berlin, Germany

Bridging the Gap Between Los Angeles and Berlin

LOYAL – Stockholm, Sweden

A Gallery that Pushes the Dialogue Around Young and International Art in Sweden’s Capital

Chimera-Project — Budapest, Hungary

Post-contemporary interest in aesthetics while eagerly re-constructing and defining traditions

La New Gallery — Madrid, Spain

Celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery – Sydney, Australia

Her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent

Take Ninagawa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

Promoting emerging Japanese artists within a cross-generational, international framework

RaebervonStenglin – Zurich, Switzerland

It is much more about concepts, long conversations and long-term commitment

Galerie Emanuel Layr – Vienna, Austria

Finding the right chord among the various artists

Platform China – Beijing/Hongkong, China

This shows how much prejudgment there still is

Fluxia – Milan, Italy

Strive to discover new approaches in contemporary art

Gaudel de Stampa – Paris, France

“Discreet” seems to be the perfect adjective

NON – Istanbul, Turkey

The dawn of an era of collaboration

Vermelho – São Paulo, Brazil

There were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way

Eleven Rivington – New York, USA

Newfound talent and rediscovers international artists for a new audience

Ibid. – London, Great Britain

Rather than listing names